China’s Ministry of Culture has published “2009 China Online Game Market White Paper”, which reviews the general development and management of China’s online game industry in 2009 and reveals authoritative data for the industry.

Statistics in the white paper show that in 2009, the market scale of China’s massively multiplayer online role-playing games increased by 35.2% year-on-year to CNY20.38 billion, accounting for 79% of the country’s online game market; and advance casual games, with high development speed, increased by 49.7% year-on-year to CNY3.55 billion. For online game exports, China gained incomes of USD106 million from this sector in 2009, an increase of 47.2% compared with the previous year.

According to the white paper, Tencent was the top Chinese online game operator, followed by Shanda and NetEase; and these three companies occupied 52.9% of China’s total online game market.

Meanwhile, the white paper points out the four major problems in China’s online game industry: first, vulgar contents exist in online games affecting the health of Chinese minors; second, minors are easily addicted to online games; third, some online game enterprises ignore the protection of rights and interests of users; and finally, the homogenization of online games is severe and the product structure of online games seems irrational.

In addition, the white paper predicts that China’s online game industry will continue to grow rapidly in the next five years and the supervision over online games will be “perfected and stricter”. Exported Chinese-made online games will gain greater development opportunities and the online game industry will further integrate with other culture and entertainment industries.