China's online gaming industry booming; $6.1 billion expected in 2012

Screenshot -- Perfect World (China)
While recent events may have some questioning the state of the MMO industry in North America, a recent study by Asian game market analysis company Niko Partners shows that the industry in the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets is still going strong. In fact, the study reveals that the Chinese online gaming market alone is set to bring in a whopping $6.1 billion US in 2012 alone.

So what is the reason behind the Asian market's continued success? According to Niko's reports, a good deal of credit should be given to the free-to-play business model. The F2P model reportedly encourages fledgling gamers to move from more casual social games to "advanced casual" games such as MMORPGs, resulting in a larger pool of money-spending players. Also of note is the fact that the use of internet cafes is declining in major cities. Whereas internet cafe revenue once made up "at least 50%" of gaming revenue, by Niko's current estimate, "up to 2/3 of revenue comes via the home channel." The full article offers interesting insight into one of the largest online gaming markets in the world, so if that sounds like your cup of tea, head on over to Forbes and give it a read.

This article was originally published on Massively.