IHS: Chinese PC market worth $13.1bn in 2016

IHS: Chinese PC market worth $13.1bn in 2016

New research about the Chinese games market shows that over half the region’s games revenue comes from PC.

That’s according to a report from IHS Markit, which says that $13.1bn is generated from the PC market, across premium games, subscription, paid game time and microtransactions.

That’s over half the $25.6bn the region’s games market produces in total in 2016. IHS says that that figure is set to rise to $29bn this year, too.

88 per cent of total PC revenue last year came from microtransactions. Thanks to League of Legends and Crossfire, Tencent claimed 59 per cent of that market, while NetEase claimed second place thanks to its partnership with Blizzard on Overwatch.

IHS’s research also showed a massive increase in spending on digital PC games. The firm says that $54m was spent on downloaded games in 2015; last year, that figure rose to $220m. That’s a rise of 307 per cent – this is largely down to Blizzard’s team shooter Overwatch, IHS believes. However, even with that massive rise, IHS says that premium PC game downloads form just 2 per cent of the total Chinese PC market.

With this in mind, IHS predicts that the Chinese premium games market will decline this year due to the fact that nothing can compare to Overwatch’s sales in 2016.

Overall, China represents 25 per cent of total video games spending worldwide. Alongside PC, mobile is a dominant force with consoles failing to make a dent in the sector.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.