BEIJING – The “Netguide 2008″ survey, begun in January 2007 by the Data Center of the China Internet and Internet Society of China, polled more than 300 websites, 270 enterprises and 50,786 interviewees around the country, reported that in China the online game’s market value in 2007 reached 12.8 billion yuan ($1.7 billion), witnessing a 66.7% increase compared to previous year’s. The number of China’s online gamers is expected to surpass 59 million in 2008, up 20% from last year’s 48 million.
Also, according to the newly released ‘’Development report of online game in China in 2007-2008” on iResearch, the online game is expected to keep growing at the rate of more than 20% and the market value will achieve 40.1 billion yuan in 2011. iResearch believes that the fast boost comes from the enormous base of online gamers and the thorough development made by gaming operators.
Giant Interactive, a Shanghai-based company that offers multiplayer online role playing games, became the last year’s third biggest gainer with a 14-percent market share.
The Nasdaq-listed Shanda and the popular portal Netease, which has added online gaming to its services, maintained the lead in 2007 by revenue and number of subscribers.
Other renowned game developers such as Kingsoft and Perfect World went public, indicating a trend in 2008, said Fu Zhihua, director of the DCCI research department that conducted the survey.
Free-to-play online games services, instead of the fee-based model, would continue to dominate the market with an estimated 80-percent market share, the survey showed.