Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

We all know that gaming is big business, at least in the United States. It stands to reason it's likewise big business in Canada and in Europe and even in Japan, with plenty of other places doing big business in gaming from there. China, however, may not be high up on the list of places people would think of when it comes to big markets for gaming. Recent reports suggest that the Chinese gaming market is putting quite a bit in play, with said reports noting that, in 2013, the Chinese market for video games weighed in at fully $13 billion.

The word came from the China Games Industry Annual Conference, and the word brought with it not only big numbers, but also big increases. Just last year, the industry fielded $9.8 billion dollars, and in 2008, the number was just a mere $3 billion. That's a lot of gains, and said gains are being led by PC gaming with about 65 percent of the total take, or $8.7 billion. Browser games stepped in for another $2 billion, mobile titles came close at $1.8 billion, and social gaming made up the shortfall at around $1 billion. Console gaming brought in a comparatively meager $15 million, which makes sense given that console gaming is largely an unofficial venture in the country.

While mobile gaming was only the second smallest piece of the pie, it's actually the fastest growing piece as well. The Chinese mobile gaming market was predicted to be $1.2 billion back in the beginning of 2013, but as it turns out, there was a 50 percent gain over the expected levels. That's no mean feat, and proves that the Chinese are putting a lot of juice into gaming altogether, and particularly so when it comes to mobile device gaming.

Given that there were reports that Microsoft was eager to get in on the gaming market in China, this is a perfect explanation of exactly why. The Chinese are clearly taking to mobile devices and PCs for gaming, but if Microsoft can introduce a console into the mix, it's likely to get at least some of the market. That could mean billions in business for Microsoft, and a way to ace Sony out of the action. Additionally, if Microsoft can tie in its Windows Phone platform with gaming in China, then it has an even better chance of putting some extra punch in that product line as well.

China is a huge opportunity, and not just for Microsoft, not even just for gamers. But games are likely to be a major part of the landscape in China for some time to come, and those who can get in on this growing market are likely to have some impressive results to discuss when next year rolls around.
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