Online games market in China to reach $3 bln by 2010

Pearl Research forecasts the online games market in China will exceed $3 bln in 2010. The market grew more than 60% to reach $1.66 bln in 2007. Certain online games are reaching $7 to $12 a month in average-revenue-per-user, significantly higher than past averages of $5 or less per month. China’s most popular online game, Netease’s Fantasy Westward Journey has 1.66 mln peak concurrent users, followed by Giant’s Zhengtu Online with 1.52 mln peak concurrent users. Successful MMORPGs can be highly profitable. Game operator Giant Interactive generated the majority of its $209 mln revenues from one title, Zhengtu Online. Game operators in China experienced strong revenue growth in 2007. The biggest gainers were game operators Shanda (up 49% to $338 mln), Giant (up 274% to $209 mln), The9 (up 30% to $175 mln) and Perfect World (up 593% to $95 mln). Coinciding with this revenue growth was a wave of initial public offerings (IPOs) by game operators Giant, Perfect World, NetDragon and KingSoft.