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Fewer Post-90s may end 'golden days' for gaming companies

By Song Jingli (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2011-02-11 17:38
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Fewer Post-90s may end 'golden days' for gaming companies

China's online gaming companies embody the negative impact brought on by a small Post-90s generation population, China Business News reported Thursday.

At the China Gaming Industry Annual Conference in January, gaming giants like Tencent, Netease and Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd all reported 2010 was their most difficult year, according to the CBN. The industry's growth rates slowed during each of the past three years. And a report by iResearch Consulting Group shows that growth in China's Internet game market slowed the most in 2010. The industry grew only 21 percent in 2010 to 32.74 billion yuan.

In addition to a lack of high-quality games and a skimp selection of netizens, the challenges can be attributed to the dwindling population of those born in the 1990s, known as the Post-90s generation, CBN reported.

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According to online data compiled from the Ministry of Education, the number of first graders in China's primary schools dropped from about 25.7 million in 1997 to roughly 16.9 million in 2005, CBN reported. The number remained at about 17 million between 2005 and 2009.

The number of college students in China, who make up a major part of the online gaming community, grew steadily between 2000 and 2009. However, that growth had slowed from 36.1 percent in 2000 to 6.12 percent in 2009.

Moreover, the increasingly stringent real-name certification will deter some players from gaming. Video websites, micro-blogs, social networking sites, portal websites and mobile Internet will all claim a part of Post-90s's online time. In addition, Internet content produced by Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony for adults will also take a share of netizens' time.

More and more companies are entering this sector, and the costs of human resources have been rising.

If Chinese online gaming companies do not make efforts to increase the revenue each player contributes, the industry's golden days will come to an end, CBN reported.

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