China’s video games revenue dips 1.8% to $21.8 bn in first half

China’s video games sector revenue fell 1.8 percent to 147.7 billion yuan ($21.8 billion) in the first half of 2022 — for the first time.
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The drop in revenue in video games business indicates that the world’s biggest video games market continues to reel from Beijing’s tightening oversight.

The number of gamers nationwide fell for the first time, dropping to 665.69 million in June 2022 from 666.57 million reported in December 2021, according to a report published by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, a state-backed industry group.

Chinese gaming companies’ domestic revenue fell 4.25 percent to 124.5 billion yuan. With heavy regulations at home, companies have been turning to overseas markets for growth, where revenue rose 6.16 percent to nearly $9 billion in the period.

China froze approvals of new games for nearly nine months before resuming them in April. However, industry giants including Tencent Holdings and NetEase have yet to win any new licences.

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