A new study by consultancy group Analysys International has concluded that the mobile online gaming market will rise to a worth of $714 million in China by 2008 – a sevenfold increase from $98 million in 2004.
The market is predicted to grow by 79 percent in 2005, to $175 million. The larger increases are expected after 2007, with the popularization of smart phones and 2.5G mobile handsets that fully support Java and BREW – ensuring that terminal support will no longer be a bottleneck.
In fact, according to a recent China Daily report, China has more than 350 million mobile subscribers, but only just over 100 million Internet users, meaning the mobile market may have stronger growth potential than many suspect.
According to the report, the commercialization of 3G networks and improved data services is also expected to help a rapid increase in the size of the market, as playing mobile games becomes a mass market concern familiar to all Chinese mobile phone users.
However, Analysys' study notes that, in the short term, the majority of Chinese mobile revenues will come from offline mobile games, where revenues are gained from a single small one-off download fee, rather than data traffic fees gained by playing online titles.