Niko News on Chinese and Southeast Asian
Video Game Markets
Volume 78
June 2011

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Weekly Twitter Posts

China's MOC has approved WoW Cataclysm for release & the GAPP approval is still pending but required for launch
7 hours ago

Perfect World's $48 million acquisition of Cryptic Studios is another step of Chinese online game operators into the US market
1 Jun

PRC prison laborers rumored to be forced to be online game gold farmers for guards. Years ago, others forced to make fake PS2s in Shenzhen
27 May

1 mil people signed up for PopCap's PvZ on RenRen already, says Gwertzman. This is PopCap's first Chinese game launch
20 May

Lenovo's Eedoo biz unit announced that it will launch the iSec (previously eBox) in the 2nd half of 2011 in China aiming to sell 1 mil units
9 May

Niko Partners: China's Online Games Industry Outperforms National GDP Growth
5 May

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Blizzard and NetEase can breathe a sigh of relief now that Cataclysm has been approved by both the Ministry of Culture and the GAPP.  Operations are scheduled to begin mid-July. The regulatory process continues to bog down world class game publishers, operators and smaller companies too, but at the end of the day the Chinese gamers decide which of the approved games will actually succeed. Cataclysm, the expansion of World of Warcraft that was launched in other territories in December 2010, is widely anticipated to perform well in China, as is the other recent Blizzard entry to the market, StarCraft II.

Social networking service (SNS) users are on the rise in China. reported an annual increase of 33.7 % to 235 million registered and 150 million active SNS users. Considering that SNS gaming is a primary application on Chinese SNS sites, Niko foresees that our growth forecast for the number of Chinese online gamers should be supported. In Southeast Asia we see a huge push for online gaming from SNS users.

Steam bringing F2P MMORPGs to the market is a big win for the Chinese and Korean style of PC online games. GamersGate announced a similar move recently as well. Niko has said for years that the Chinese business model for online games will take over the west. We see that in motion not only with these announcements but also with the fact that NPD's latest data reflects a decline in packaged game sales and a nearly matching uptick in digitally distributed game sales and revenue. Online distribution either directly from publishers or through engines such as Steam will be critically important for the global games industry during the next few years.

Niko News is just part of the market intelligence experience offered by Niko Partners to help you better understand the thriving video game market of China and Southeast Asia.

Niko Partners is the premier provider of market intelligence and custom research services focused on the video game industry in China and Southeast Asia. Since 2003 we have provided critical information to the world's leading game publishers, developers, hardware makers and game service providers. Renowned trade associations, policy makers, and hedge fund managers turn to Niko for key data on the Chinese and Southeast Asian video game industries. Niko's primary data, analysis, market models, and five-year forecast by game segments and hardware platforms help decision-makers understand market trends.
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