The world of video games may be about to change in a big way. The market just increased by over one billion people. In 2000 China implemented a ban on foreign game consoles but that ban has just been lifted meaning that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo just got a lot of new customers.
The game industry in China is still worth more than $22 billion and that’s just in PC and mobile gaming. Consoles have the potential to add a great deal to that bottom line. With a potential consumer base as large and China even a minor dent will have a significant impact on any console makers sales.
The long term impacts of this change also have the potential to make a noticeable change on the game industry as a whole. Hollywood has seen the impact that the Chinese audience has and now makes a lot of their film decisions based on that audience. If China becomes a large enough market for console gaming we could see the same thing happen there.
There’s the potential for special versions of some games with content that is only available in China, not to mention we may see many games full of heroic Chinese characters, and not so much with Chinese Chinese villains, as China always likes to see their characters painted in a positive light.
On the other hand there’s also the possibility of technological advancement thanks to Chinese interest. One of the reasons that so many movies are filmed in 3D today is because China actually requires a certain percentage of their foreign films be done in 3D. If China started to decide they wanted more 3D games, or 4K resolution games, you can rest assured that we would start to see them here as well.
While none of these changes will occur overnight, if they ever occur at all the power of China’s market cannot be undersold. This is huge. Time will tell exactly how huge.