The Chinese games market saw its first decline in over two decades in 2022.
That's according to the country's semi-official trade body, the catchily-named Gaming Publishing Committee of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association – as reported by South China Morning Post – the region saw a drop of 10.3 per cent in revenue, falling to 269.5 billion yuan (US$40.1 billion). The number of people playing games dropped 0.33 per cent to 664 million.
This is the first time that game sales have declined on the available data.
As for why this happened, there's a variety of factors. In 2022, there was the government crackdown on China's tech sector, which impacted the country's games industry. Approvals were also frozen for a large part of the year.
Mobile games – which make up over 70 per cent of China's games revenue – dropped 14.4 per cent.
Looking into 2023, China's games industry might see something of a rebound, with restrictions on the country's sector easing somewhat.
That being said, the government still wants a tight hand on what the tech sector's biggest players are doing and is in the process of buying "golden shares", which give the state a say in how they act.