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Chinese online gaming nears $3 billion annually

Online games in China are big business. When will the US catch up?

Pearl Research reports in its latest Online Games Market in China study (PDF), that the Chinese online gaming market reached $2.8 billion in 2008, an increase of roughly 63 percent over the previous year. The study predicts that the Chinese market will reach $5.5 billion by 2012.

Tencent, Changyou, The9, Netease, Shanda, and Giant all surpassed the $200 million revenue mark in 2008 and continue to grow as the Internet and mobile phones become more widely available.

It's a bit hard to tell how this compares to US online games, but the best I could find from cursory research is that there are only a few online games (World of Warcraft most notably) that are beyond $100 million in unaudited revenue.

This not only exemplifies how far behind we are, but the enormity of the online gaming opportunity.

Roughly 70 percent of China's 298 million Internet users are under the age of 30, which Pearl believes will continue to drive the online gaming market.

Via Game Daily News

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