A San Jose-based Niko Partners, the market intelligence firm on China’s video game industry, announced preliminary results from its upcoming Annual Review & Five-Year Forecast on China’s video game industry, citing $3.57 billion in revenue from online games in 2009. The annual review and forecast on online gaming and Chinese gamers shows strong growth by Chinese online game operators, despite a harsh regulatory environment particularly for foreign games, and a gamer base that has become increasingly discerning about game quality. Niko had forecasted 2009 revenue to reach $3.65 billion. For 2010, the firm predicts that the online game market will reach $4.5 billion and enjoy a healthy CAGR of 20.9% over the next five years with revenue reaching $9.2 billion in 2014.
Key insights from the report:
? Chinese gamers prefer the Free-to-Play (F2P) model of online games in which online operators generate revenue via the virtual economy, rather than the time-based model in which access is provided for a fixed number of pre-paid hours.
? 63% of gamers surveyed increased their spending on online games in the past year.
? Social Networking Sites (SNS) games have gained popularity among Chinese consumers, and 88% of the gamers Niko surveyed claim to play SNS games.
? The primary reasons gamers with PCs at home go to an Internet caf? are to be social with their friends and to participate in gaming competitions.
? At least 65% of gamers use Internet caf?s at least part of the time.
? There were 68 million online gamers in China by our definition at the end of 2009 and by 2014 the number should reach 141 million, a 15.5% CAGR.
Tim Merel of IBIS Capital, an investment bank focused on digital, media and communications, released a major global review of video games fundraising, investment, M&A and JV opportunities on 29th March 2010. The full review can be found at?http://bit.ly/buA71D
A Russian developer and operator of computer on-line games ? NIKITA.Online and a Korean games developer MaxOn Soft shook hands to release ASDA Story, on-line game (in the Russian language the game will have the name – “Fantasium”) in the territory of Russia, CIS and the Baltic countries.
NIKITA.Online company is operating with nine projects: “Rappelz”, “4Story”, “Dragon knight”, “Fantasium”, “Sphere”, “Sphere: Reborn”, “House 3”, “Sphere-2” and a browser-based game ? “WebRacing”.
Young Shik Kwon (권영식: Kor), an executive who has led successful publishing businesses from the beginning of Netmarble is leaving CJ Internet. He delivered smashing hits such as Sudden Attack and Ma9 (마구마구:Kor) to CJ Internet and played a critical role in building NetMarble and building a business model at CJ Internet. His sudden move left the industry people puzzled because he has been actively working on some projects. The rumor has it his decision has something to do with organizational restructuring and a new appointed CEO.
CJ Internet stated that “Mr. Kwon’s resignation is not finalized yet. Even if he leaves the company, it does not relate to the company’s restructuring and might be his personal reason.”
A Seoul-based Tri-d Communication unveiled its Second Life-like 3D virtual world platform, C2TOWN. According to the company, C2TOWN is somewhat between WOW and Second Life. In C2TOWN, users can develop their own content using Lua scripts and 3DMax graphics resources. In-game items can be purchased with in-game currency just like Second Life.