ChinaJoy was held at the China New International Expo Center and was bigger than ever, with a total of 272,900 entries into the show. This does not mean there were 272,900 people, however, because every time a person went through a gate they were counted again and they could enter multiple times per day. Many of them were consumers too, including 56,942 on August 1st and 33,626 on August 2nd. Unlike most professional trade shows in the West, ChinaJoy allows for the general public to wait in (very long) lines and visit the booths of the exhibitors. There are halls reserved only for B2B though, and most of the meetings took place either in those halls or at the nearby Kerry Centre Hotel and adjacent mall. There was a report that the number of media journalists was down by 19% this year, to 7,333 from 9,050.
Mr. Sun Shoushan, Deputy Chief of the State Administration of Radio Film Television Press & Publications (SARFTPP) reported the official government data for China’s games market is as follows for the 1st six months of 2015:
* Total market = RMB 60.5 billion ($9.8 bil, +21.9% YOY)
* PC client-based games = RMB 26.7 billion ($4.3 bil, up 4.5% YOY)
* Mobile games = RMB 20.9 billion ($3.4 bil, up 67.2% YOY)
* Webgames = RMB 20.3 billion ($3.3 bil, up 12% YOY)
* Social networking service games = RMB 2.6 billion ($400 million)
At this pace, the total market, as calculated by the government, could approach $20 billion for 2015 (this is in line with Niko’s estimates). He also reported that mobile games will soon be regulated more strictly, as console and PC games already are.
It is important to note that all Chinese game companies aspiring to obtain a government permit for a game to be launched in China are required to pay for a booth at ChinaJoy (and the fee is very high compared with other exhibitions). There were 10 halls to accommodate all 700 of them with their 3,500 products, covering 120,000 square meters. The prime real estate of the first hall, N2, was taken by Shanda Games/Bianfeng, and the other companies in hall N2 were Yinhan Games, Tencent, Perfect World, Kongzhong and Giant. Some of the halls only had 6 booths in each, which implied that there were fewer exhibitors though there was a big increase in the number of B2B booths. Mobile games were the hot item, more than 80% of the products shown.
Other than mobile games and some of the traditional PC online games, there were big displays by the newly legal console companies, Microsoft and Sony, and virtual reality devices also had a big presence. Some VR companies were Sony’s Morpheus, Baofeng’s Magic Glass III, Razer’s Sensics, Oculus Rift, 3 Glasses, Nibiru and more.
Nearly all exhibitors were domestic companies yet Microsoft and Sony were in hall N5 together, and Microsoft had the larger booth. Nintendo was not exhibiting at the show. Microsoft demonstrated HALO in anticipation for the August 13 release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The prices will be RMB 249 or RMB 399 for the deluxe edition. Also, Phil Spencer made a speech and said that they know that the market is slow but that is okay with them, and that they hope to also help Chinese developers expand internationally with Xbox One. Sony exhibited the PS4 and PS Vita, and its new virtual reality Morpheus equipment. Sony announced Street Fighter V, PAL 6, Journey, Just Dance, and Toukiden: Kiwami. Blizzard was the other that our team noticed in the consumer exhibition, but many, many more foreign companies were present in the B2B zone.
Outside of the Expo center there were four other conferences associated with ChinaJoy, mostly for lectures and education.