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China Mobile Games 2018 Report

Posted by: Diego
Category: Blog

2018 was a special year for China’s mobile gaming industry.

One is that the flow dividend has all but dried up. In 2018, the actual sales revenue of China’s mobile game market was 214.44 billion yuan, only 5.3% year-on-year, the number of game users reached 626 million, up 7.3%year-on-year, both of which reached a new low. On the other hand, the suspension of approval of the 10-month version number also brought a heavy blow to the industry, accelerating the transformation of the entire game industry.

Nowadays, from the increment market to the stock market, the game industry is developing towards the trend of “refinement”. At the same time, mobile game advertising market also experienced a shuffle in 2018, from “crazy” to “rational” change.

Advertising for China mobile games is an area that DataEye has been focusing on for a long time, helping overseas developers to understand China’s mobile game environment from the perspective of the advertising market.

A maximum of 1,428 games were advertised in a single day in 2018

In the mobile game market in 2018, the Android channel remains the dominant force. In terms of budget, games and companies involved, the investment volume of Android channel is ahead of that of iOS channel. However, since June, the amount of iOS was close to the amount of Android, or even basically flat, which is also directly related to the suspension of approval of the license number.

In terms of the number of products released, the highest number of products purchased in a single day in 2018 is 1,428. After a brief downturn from May to July, the number of games launched in the second half of the year ushered in a wave of recovery. By channel type, the number of products released on Android is basically maintained at over 600, and the number of products released on iOS is basically maintained at over 300.

It is worth noting that, contrary to the curve of the number of products released, the number of companies participating in advertising in 2018 generally shows a downward trend, with the highest number of companies participating in a single day being 430. The number of companies participating in the advertising of Android channel dropped from over 300 at the beginning of the year to over 150 at the end of the year, while the number of companies participating in the advertising of iOS basically remained between 150 and 250, with a small decline.

More products, but fewer companies. These two sets of data clearly show that there are more and more publishers out of the buying market in 2018, while the market share of top publishers is rising steadily.

Products: subdivided categories began to force

Legend, xianxia, wuxia, magic and so on are still the mainstream category of the Chinese market. However, there were some growth segments, such as tower defense games, which nearly tripled from July, and operating simulation games, which nearly tripled from June.

The amount of investment in role-playing, business strategy, poker CARDS and leisure and intelligence all increased significantly in the second half of 2018. Specifically, role-playing category nearly doubled from August to November, business strategy category and leisure puzzle category also nearly doubled from August to December, and poker card category increased 3-4 times from August to November.

It is worth noting that although the number of sports competitions increased by 4-5 times from August to November, they suffered a “Waterloo” in December and suddenly fell back to only one-third of the peak.

Company: the head publisher has obvious advantages

Measured by the amount of investment, Tencent’s annual investment volume is nearly twice that of the second place, which also indicates that the head manufacturer has a more obvious advantage and continues to expand its market share.

From the perspective of the distribution area, the game companies involved in advertising are mainly concentrated in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shenzhen.

Channels: video advertising is becoming a mainstream advertising form

In China, there are many ways of obtaining flow, such as Huawei, OPPO, VIVO, Xiaomi, on the media advertising, etc., we sort out the TOP20 advertising media rankings in 2018, the number one cause of the TSA Tencent social advertisement, take the second to fifth Mobile Baidu, Toutiao, UC, Tik Tok( Chinese version).

Tik Tok(Chinese version) which took the TOP5 position, is the “dark horse” with the largest advertising channels in 2018.

In general, 2018 is the “year of reshuffle” in China’s game market, and the cost of acquiring users is increasing day by day. Only by improving the innovation of games, providing high-quality entertainment content and making mobile games refined, can we break through the siege.


Get the 2018 China Mobile Game Market Environment Report!




Author: Diego