Chinese game apps are spreading abroad like wildfire and the US has become one of their top markets. From the first half of 2017 to the first half of this year, Chinese game makers raised their profits by 52% in the US earning more than $600 million, according to new data from App Annie.
Downloads of Chinese games in the US iOS App Store and Google Play Store increased by 54% during the same time. That’s close to 200 million downloads.
This follows the overall trend of Chinese mobile games going abroad. According to an earlier report from App Annie published July 31, during the first half of 2018, mobile game publishers hit $2.6 billion in overseas revenues from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, a 40 percent year-on-year hike.
Overseas expansion has become a necessity, according to the report, as China experiences a slowdown in domestic mobile game revenues. Kern Zhang, head of new business at App Annie in China, told China Daily that the slowdown is due to oversaturation and “disappearance of the demographic dividend” AKA young people.
However, there might be other reasons Chinese game makers are going abroad. China’s State Administration of Radio and Television (SART) has not granted licenses for new games since March 2018, causing a drastic slowdown in industry growth. Mobile games have been hit the hardest, with year-on-year growth lunging from 50% to 13%.
As for the US market, Chinese action game apps were some of the most downloaded games. Tencent’s Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) ranked No. 1 in downloads in the US during the first half of the year while NetEase’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day ranked third.
Casual mobile games were also seeing high download rates in the first half of 2018 including Love Balls (恋爱球球), Word Crossy, Draw In (完美的线), Rolling Sky (滚动的天空), and Dancing Line (跳舞的线).
Strategic games still dominate the list of games with the highest income. FunPlus’s Gun of Glory and King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare (阿瓦隆之王：龙之战役) are ranked first and third respectively. IGG’s Lords Mobile (王国纪) is ranked second with another title from the company placing itself at no. 9—Castle Clash (城堡争霸).
Two games from Elex, Clash of Kings (列王的纷争) and Miracle Nikki (奇迹暖暖), placed themselves fourth and fifth respectively. Word Crossy is the only casual game that placed itself in the top 15 according to revenues.