China’s Gaming Population Explodes to Record of 668 Million Players!

For decades, China’s video game market has defied expectations and broken records. But nothing could have prepared the industry – or the world – for the explosive comeback now underway.

After a brutal crackdown sent the sector into a tailspin, China’s gaming population has surged by over 100 million players in just the last year to a staggering new record of 668 million – nearly half the country’s entire population.

The Numbers are Staggering

According to official data released this week from the government-linked China Game Publishers Association, China now boasts more gamers than the entire populations of the U.S. and Europe combined.

Despite the turmoil of the last year – which saw licensing freezes, restrictions on play time for minors and even bans on effeminate male characters – China’s gaming revenue for the first half of 2022 still managed to clock in at a massive $20 billion.

That astronomical figure ranks China’s gaming market as the largest in the world by a wide margin. The U.S. gaming industry, by comparison, pulled in around $19 billion for all of 2021.

With nearly 700 million potential players and deep pockets for growth, China’s gaming market was always destined for dominance. But the gold rush now underway has surpassed even the most optimistic projections.

The Crackdown and the Comeback

The story starts in mid-2021 when Chinese authorities launched a ferocious crackdown on the country’s ballooning gaming sector.

Regulators froze approvals for all new games, banned gaming on school days, restricted play time for underage players and forced industry leaders like Tencent and NetEase to purge “vulgar” content from their games.

The regulations decimated revenues and wiped billions of dollars from market valuations of Chinese gaming giants practically overnight. Many industry veterans predicted the restrictions could take years to reverse.

Yet less than a year later, China’s gaming sector is well on its way to a phenomenal comeback. Authorities have relaxed some restrictions, resumed approving new games and signaled a more balanced approach moving forward.

The turnaround has supercharged demand among China’s enormous player base. The surging popularity of free-to-play mobile games, eSports and live streaming has helped offset weakness in traditional PC gaming.

The result? Shanghai stock indexes tracking Chinese gaming companies have soared by over 50% since January – signaling widespread confidence in the industry’s stunning recovery.

Fuel for Growth

With China now approving hundreds of new games per month for the massive market, revenue growth is expected to accelerate during the back half of 2022.

But the true fuel for China’s gaming gold rush remains its enormous footprint of nearly 700 million players – a population larger than most countries on earth.

As China’s army of gamers flocks to the latest releases, demand is poised to send revenues – and stock prices – ever higher. With many Chinese citizens still gaming for the first time, the potential for continued growth remains massive.

The Future Looks Bright

After a bruising crackdown, China’s gaming industry has emerged from the ashes and is exploding back to life against all odds. Record numbers of players are fueling an unprecedented surge in demand that shows no signs of slowing.

So as China’s gaming gold rush gains steam, investors, industry players and gamers around the world can only watch in amazement. In the world’s largest gaming market, the future still looks extremely bright – and the records set to be broken have yet to be imagined. Game on, China. Game on.

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