Chinese-made games dominate the U.S. market for the first time
Patrick Rhys Atack
Mobile gaming is an ever-growing sector. /Chris Delmas/AFP

Mobile gaming is an ever-growing sector. /Chris Delmas/AFP

The mobile gaming sector is worth billions globally, and sales data has revealed how Chinese game developers have gained market dominance for the first time.

In the first half of 2021, 220 of the top 1,000 games bought or downloaded in the U.S. were made by companies headquartered in China. 

That's a 6 percent increase over the past two years, and crucially puts Chinese game developers above U.S. firms for the first time. Meanwhile, the U.S. developers' market share has dropped 10 percent over two years. 

Chinese developers also dominate the European market, with more than 10 percent growth across key markets – UK, France, Germany, Russia and Turkey. 

Russian and Swedish games companies have also made gains in Europe since 2019, but China-developed mobile games are the most popular. 

The market dominance in game downloads also translates to dominance in terms of consumer spend, according to stats from App Annie

Chinese game developers earned 22 percent of consumer spend in the U.S. in the first half of 2021. They also received the biggest slice in key European markets including the UK, Germany and France. 

Mobile gaming boomed during the pandemic, with an average of a billion downloads per week (25 percent more than 2019) and nearly $2 billion spent on games each week (40 percent higher than 2019). 

The sector was worth $100 billion globally in 2020, more than double both home consoles ($39bn) and PC and Mac gaming ($39.5bn). 

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