Online gaming revenues soared in China to 6.18 billion RMB (USD 906 million) in the second quarter of 2009, according to Reuters. They cite data from Analysys International, a research firm which states China's online game revenues for Q2 2009 were up 39.5 percent over last year. Among the top three earners (trailing behind Tencent Holdings and Shanda Games) was NetEase, the company which is presently the licensed operator of World of Warcraft in China. Reuters states that NetEase saw revenues of 780 million RMB (USD 114 million) in the second quarter of this year.
This continual growth of online gaming in China has been a key issue with legislators in recent years. The Chinese media's coverage of internet and gaming addiction has intensified, and there is now increased government scrutiny of the virtual currencies and economies these games have given rise to. It's not just a China issue, as foreign companies are either operating online games in the country or have been eyeing this lucrative market. As we mentioned on Monday, the issue of regulating foreign game operation in China may be coming to a head with the current struggle between the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) and the Ministry of Culture. Whatever agreement is reached between these government agencies will determine the future of foreign online game operations in the country.