Tencent’s Online Gaming Dominance Grows as Market Expands to $1.78 Billion


Tencent's iconic penguin mascot surfs its way to social gaming success.

A seasonal survey of China’s online gaming market by Analysys International reveals some stellar growth up to the end of 2012 Q1 – and that Tencent (HKG:0700) has extended its lead as the country’s mavens of social gaming. Back in 2011 Q2, the Shenzhen-based web giant dominated with 29.5 percent of market share by revenue, but that’s now up to 33.7 percent.

The whole gaming sector has grown to be worth US$1.78 billion in terms of revenue in China. That’s 9.5 percent growth from the previous quarter.

There was a bit of a shuffle below Tencent, as Netease (NASDAQ:NTES) moved up from third to second spot, now claiming 17.3 percent of domestic online gaming revenue. Shanda Games (NASDAQ:GAME) saw no growth – despite its new World Zero title – and consequently got demoted to third.

Tencent runs China’s biggest social network with its QQ empire of IM, social networks, and social gaming. Earlier this week, we looked at the QQ Games exclusive tie-up with PopCap to launch Plants vs Zombies Great Wall Edition. It also operates some more hardcore MMO titles such as Crossfire. Indeed, social gaming is a large part of the reason behind the company having far-and-away China’s richest web portal.

Here’s the interactive chart for market share by revenue among China’s gaming services (2012 Q1):

(View the pie chart as a static image).

The online gaming market as a whole saw 33 percent year-on-year growth. When we last looked, last summer, it was at 8.7 billion RMB ($1.36 billion at that time), but the new figures show the industry has expanded to the point where it reels in 11.26 billion RMB ($1.78 billion) up to the end of 2012 Q1:

[Sources: Analysys International 1 and 2]

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