You are here

Video: Lisa Hanson on China's Gaming Giants Going Global

Tencent, NetEase and other successful Chinese video game companies are aiming to expand and deepen their reach in overseas markets. They've enjoyed success, but some less well-known firms such as MiHoYo earn the bulk of their revenues abroad. Lisa Cosmas Hanson, CEO of Niko Partners, analyzes the hurdles Chinese firms confront and discusses the strategies they use. Are they succeeding?
October 20, 2023
Chinese team competing in the esports contest at the Hangzhou Asian Games, 2023

Esports was included in the Asian Games for the first time in the just completed games in Hangzhou. It's the latest sign of how important video gaming has become, especially in Asia where winning a gold medal earned Oh Sang-uk an exemption from South Korea's mandatory military service.

Already the largest and most profitable entertainment industry, video game companies are looking to grow by moving into new markets and bolstering esports. In 2022, games generated $176 billion in revenue. There are three billion gamers worldwide. China’s market is the world’s largest and Chinese game companies are dominant there, but those giants are busy moving in and developing new regions. In her presentation, Lisa Cosmas Hanson drew on research she and her colleagues at Niko Partners have done, including efforts by China's gaming giants in the Middle East and North Africa.


This video and others are also available at our YouTube channel.

The presentation was followed by a lively discussion, with questions and observations from musicians producing for game companies, former designers and marketeers and those eager to enter or invest in the industry.

Lisa Cosmas Hanson is CEO and president of Niko Partners. She spoke about the Chinese video game market at USC in 2018. Niko Partners is a market research and consulting firm covering the Asia games market and its consumers. Lisa founded Niko Partners in 2002 and has since honed her expertise on the Chinese and Southeast Asian games industry that has benefitted Niko’s clients: Companies that are global leaders in game publishing, game services, hardware, and investments. Prior to founding Niko, she served as Lead Strategist at Viant, and as Director, Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker and Senior Analyst, Asia Pacific at IDC Research. Lisa began her career as Equity Analyst at Marusan Securities in Tokyo. Lisa appears regularly in the media such as The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Reuters, BBC, Bloomberg, Financial Times, among others. She is based in the U.S. but travels to Asia regularly to give presentations at industry events and engage with the market.

The event image above combines two gaming events in Egypt: one featuring Lenovo Legion equipment and another featuring PubG, partially owned by Tencent.