China’s PC gaming revenue dropped roughly $300M thanks to approval freeze

China’s PC gaming revenue dropped roughly $300M thanks to approval freeze

Chinese PC gaming revenue fell $300 million in 2018.

That's according to research from analytics firm Niko Partners, which claims that domestic revenue from online PC games hit $15.2 billion last year, a drop from 2017’s $15.5 billion.

Niko has likewise dropped its long-term predictions for the market. Chinese online PC gaming revenue is now set to rise to $16 billion by 2023, down from the initially-forecast $17.4 billion by 2022.

Why the drop? Niko claims that last year’s approval freeze on new games caused lasting damage to the region’s market. Chinese authorities finally resumed new game approvals - alongside existing efforts to clear a lengthy backlog - in April this year.

But that return to business has brought new regulations. Niko believes China will approve far fewer games, estimating less than 5,000 will make it to market in 2019.

China now accounts for over half of the PC gaming population, according to Niko in the same report. 312.4 million PC gamers are Chinese, with an estimated rise to 354 million by 2023 - meaning there will be more Chinese PC gamers than the entire population of the United States.

The state of China's PC gaming market will only become more important for the state of PC gaming as a whole as time passes.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.