Unreal Engine’s China Opportunity

Epic Games just unveiled its latest 2020 data for the Unreal Engine, and it’s looking great! Global user count surpassed 10 million, with US and China user counts coming in 1st and 2nd place. Here are some highlights from Chinese game media Youxiputao’s interview with Epic Games China:

  • Unreal Engine’s monthly active users in China more than doubled year-over-year. At the same time, the number of Chinese gaming clients using Unreal Engine grew by 280%, and mobile game customers skyrocketed 533%.
  • In the past, the Chinese gaming community was quite conservative with Unreal Engine. Just 3 years ago, successful use cases were sparse, especially in the mobile sector. However, since the release of Peacekeeper Elite (essentially China’s PUBG: Mobile) and other titles, demand from Chinese game companies has seen tremendous growth.
  • Top tier gaming companies in China understand Unreal Engine’s potential and are increasingly adopting the technology, and mid-size to smaller companies are now starting to give Unreal Engine a go. Although the majority Unreal Engine’s Chinese user base consists of large companies, smaller companies are driving a very significant portion of Unreal Engine’s new user growth.
  • Most of the large companies are primarily using Unreal Engine for mobile, while mid/small teams are more diverse across mobile, PC, and even console. A great example of this is Black Myth: Wukong, where the developer Game Science is a 30-person indie studio (indie by China standards).
  • Going forward, Epic Games China’s focus is to increase Unreal Engine’s influence and market share within the mobile gaming sector, as well as non-gaming sectors. Their goal is to double Unreal Engine’s monthly active users in China by the end of 2021.

Based on new data and this interview, Unreal Engine is having a record year in China and is positioned better than ever for the future. It seems that the Chinese game industry is looking to shed its past and enter into a new era of quality, creativity, and global growth.