BEIJING - With an estimated annual revenue of US$7.7 billion (S$10.3 billion) next year, China will likely surpass the United States to become the world's largest mobile gaming market, an industry white paper showed.
The 2015 Global Mobile Games Whitebook was released by Beijing-based Global Mobile Game Confederation, market-research firm Newzoo and big-data firm TalkingData on Friday.
Compared to the US' US$5.2 billion revenues, China's mobile gaming industry earned US$4.4 billion last year, but the market is expected to surpass the US' US$7.3 billion next year, driven in part by an increase in smartphone users and a rise in the number of paying gamers as China becomes more affluent, the confederation said.
Several mobile games have done well in China. For instance, the country was the second-largest market for the iOS version of last year's hit puzzle game, Monument Valley.
China held a 12 per cent share of the game's total revenue of US$5.9 million last year, behind the US at No. 1 with 38 per cent, mobile-game business news site PocketGamer.biz reported in January.
Last year, China had 383 million mobile gamers, and this number will increase to 475 million in the next three years. Mobile users who use gaming apps spend an average of 35 minutes a day on these apps in February, according to the research report.
The global gaming revenue is expected to hit US$30.1 billion this year, among which China will occupy about one fifth of the market share.
"The fastest growth in mobile games is happening in China and the South-east Asian market," the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday, citing Peter Warman, co-founder and chief executive of Newzoo.