ChinaJoy 2023 ended on July 31st. As there were no restrictions due to COVID-19, the scale of the event returned to its original size. And ChinaJoy celebrated its 20th anniversary. However, there was no 'notable new game', which is the most important factor in the game trade fair. Tencent, NetEase, and Mihoyo all planned to show off their new games at Gamescom, not at ChinaJoy.
ChinaJoy 2023 was held at the Shanghai New International Expo Center from July 28 to 31. More than 200 companies participated in the B2C area and about 300 companies participated in the B2B area. The share of foreign companies exceeded 30%. The general exhibition area was over 100,000 square meters.
Major Chinese companies also participated. Tencent, NetEase, Mihoyo, Perfect World, 4399, Bilibili, and 4399 operated booths and exhibited various games. Several Chinese companies, including Tencent, exhibited some South Korean games. As foreign game companies, Sony and Bandai Namco participated.
On the surface, ChinaJoy 2023 went well. There were no safety incidents, and there were many things to see in each booth. An official ChinaJoy app has also been released for visitors. Recently, the Chinese government has continued to send out positive messages about the game industry. In this atmosphere, Shanghai also announced policies to invest and nurture the game industry in line with ChinaJoy.
However, ChinaJoy 2023 was an empty suit. Most of the games displayed were already released in China. There were no notable new games, and there were not many demonstration stands for visitors to enjoy the games. Everything else went well, but the most important thing was missing.
It is not difficult to find the cause of this. The Chinese government strengthened the shutdown system for minors in August 2021, and stopped issuing game version numbers for a considerable period of time. A Chinese media even posted an article saying, “Game is a mental opiate.” In this atmosphere, many Chinese small and medium game companies went out of business or suffered difficulties. There was also an article that large companies such as Tencent and Byte Dance had massive layoffs.
It was at this point that Chinese game companies turned their eyes abroad. Since it has become difficult to carry out the game business in China, the overall business structure must have been reorganized to target the global market. In this process, it is estimated that the development of a significant number of games for the Chinese market has been stopped. And they would have focused their development capabilities on games that have the potential to succeed in the global market.
The result is ChinaJoy 2023. Major companies set up booths. However, as if they had promised each other, they did not exhibit the new work they had been working hard on. There might have been some game companies that didn't have any new games at all, and there might have been cases where they didn't want to take the risk of exposing games that haven't yet been approved.
In the midst of this, the moves of Tencent, NetEase, and Mihoyo are also interesting. These companies are currently leading the Chinese game industry. And they definitely have new games that can be exhibited at ChinaJoy. However, all of these companies did not exhibit new games at ChinaJoy. Instead, they all had planned to open a booth at Gamescom in Germany and showcase new games. In particular, Tencent will also hold a solo showcase at Gamescom. In the eyes of companies leading the Chinese game industry, the global market is now more important than the Chinese market.
It is worth watching to see if other Chinese game companies will show similar moves in the future. Also, it will be interesting to see who will be the company that will make ChinaJoy solid in the future.
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