Categories
China Economics Information Technology Software Trend Watching

Internet in China: Online Gaming & “Gold Farming”

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the population of Internet users in China by last June is over 123 million — 63% of those people have broadband access. More that 20 million chinese play online games, and the e-commerce revenue have grown 50% in relation to last year numbers. Estimates of the revenue of the online gaming industry points to a total of 1.3 billion dollars by 2009, an annual growth of 35%, according to IDC. Such growth ended pushing the numbers of other sectors up: online games brought 17.3 billion Yuan (2.14 billion dollars) to industry, 7.1 billion Yuan (887.5 million dollars) to the industry, and 30 million Yuan (3.7 million dollars) to the industry […]

Internet Cafe
Internet Cafe
credits: shizukabazooka

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the population of Internet users in China by last June is over 123 million — 63% of those people have broadband access. More that 20 million chinese play online games, and the e-commerce revenue have grown 50% in relation to last year numbers.

Estimates of the revenue of the online gaming industry points to a total of 1.3 billion dollars by 2009, an annual growth of 35%, according to IDC. Such growth ended pushing the numbers of other sectors up: online games brought 17.3 billion Yuan (2.14 billion dollars) to industry, 7.1 billion Yuan (887.5 million dollars) to the industry, and 30 million Yuan (3.7 million dollars) to the industry.

Unlike american consumers — who usually pay US$ 50 to buy a new game — players in China, where software piracy is still an issue, are not willing to pay much for their games. Therefore, game developers have to come up with creative ways to generate revenue: according to Bill Bishop, CEO of Red Mushroom Studios, one of the fastest growning areas of the game business in China selling online gear for game characters.

The gaming culture in China is even creating new professions: in Liaozhong, colleting virtual items of online games has become income source for many young people. Even some of the most conservative estimates might say that these so-called gold-farmers bring in around 200 million dollars a year in this underground industry.

By Itamar Medeiros

I'm a Strategist, Branding Specialist, Experience Designer, Speaker, and Workshop Facilitator based in Germany, where I work as Director of Design Strategy and Systems at SAP and visiting lecturer at Köln International School of Design of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, I've helped truly global companies in several countries (Brazil, China, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, The United Arab Emirates, United States, Hong Kong) create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles.

During my 7 years in China, I've promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

2 replies on “Internet in China: Online Gaming & “Gold Farming””

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.