(Yicai Global) June 5 -- Gaming giants Tencent Holdings and NetEase accounted for more than 80 percent of the total revenue made by China's 10 biggest listed video game developers in the first three months of the year.
Operating revenue at the top 10 companies, except Tencent and NetEase, shrank because of slower pace of new game launches, lower income from existing games, and fewer online players, among other factors, according to their first-quarter earnings reports.
Seven of China's top 10 mobile games in three months ended March 31 were published by Tencent and NetEase, a report by market researcher GameLook showed at the end of April.
China's game industry will continue to be dominated by Tencent, NetEase, and miHoYo Network Technology, said Jiang Xiaoxiao, executive director of China Insights Consultancy.
Tencent accounted for about half of domestic market revenue in the quarter, up from 40 percent a year earlier. The market share of small and mid-sized game firms contracted further.
Tencent's gaming business returned to growth, with the Shenzhen-based firm's first-quarter operating revenue jumping 11 percent to CNY48.3 billion (USD6.8 billion) from a year earlier. Income from China rose 6.4 percent to CNY35.1 billion, the first growth since the same period last year, while that from overseas soared by a record 25 percent to CNY13.2 billion.
NetEase's operating revenue from games rose 7.6 percent to CNY20.1 billion in the first quarter from a year ago, equal to 80 percent of the Hangzhou-based firm's total revenue.
The release of more game licenses in China this year has created opportunities for local game developers to launch new games to gain a bigger market share. A slew of titles will be launched this year, igniting fierce competition, according to the lineup of products due for release.
As of the end of last month, China had approved 433 licences for online game developed in the country and 27 for imported games this year.
Editors: Shi Yi, Martin Kadiev