Chinese games industry now worth more than $5 billion

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2010 was a big year for the growing Chinese games industry, reaching a total value of $5 billion.

The data comes from research firm, Pearl Research, which forecasts the games industry in China to exceed $8 billion in value by 2014.

Some other major findings from the research:

–         Game operators in China experienced strong revenue growth in 2010. Top game operators, in descending order, are Tencent with $1.4 billion in revenue in 2010, Netease (NASDAQ: NTES) with $749 million in revenue, Shanda Games (NASDAQ:GAME) with $680 million, Perfect World (NASDAQ: PWRD) with $374 million and Changyou (NASDAQ: CYOU) with $327 million in revenues.

–       In 2010, MMORPG game operator Shenzhen ZQ Game completed an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, becoming the first China-based online game company listed domestically in China. The company was established in 2003 and has 700 employees.

–      One of the most talked-about trends is the emergence of Sina’s Weibo micro-blogging platform, which is similar to Twitter, in that it allows online and text posts of 140 characters. Weibo’s registered users grew more than 25 times in 2010 and surpassed 100 million in February 2011.  The report analyzes Weibo and its growing popularity.

–      In addition, Pearl Research expects to see much more mergers and acquisitions activities in 2011, as Chinese game operators, flush with cash, seek to expand overseas and strengthen their development capabilities.

This is all positive signs for a country whose games industry has laboured for years with challenges from piracy and limited internal resources. It may well be that China becomes a dominant market in the years to come.

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