Why China’s game business will hit $20B by 2016 (exclusive interview)

China has one of the most dynamic and unique game markets in the world. Rising from virtual non-existence a decade ago, and surviving a stage when every disk was pirated, the nation has become a force to be reckoned with in online games. Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing director of Niko Partners, has watched the Chinese online game market for more than a decade. She has seen the rise of publicly traded companies such as Tencent, the launch of popular Western massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft, and the emergence of social networking games. Mobile gaming has exploded with hundreds of Android app stores. And now there’s even a glimmer of hope that the Chinese government will allow the launch of game consoles, particularly if they are education focused. We talked with Cosmas Hanson about this ever-changing market. Here’s an edited transcript of the conversation.

Activision Blizzard’s quarterly earnings report predicted to shine come Wednesday

Activision Blizzard will report its first-fiscal-quarter earnings on Wednesday, May 9, after the market close. This will come two days after its arch-rival Electronic Arts reports its earnings, and the two together will paint a better picture of the grudge match between EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic and Activision Blizzard’s flagship online game World of Warcraft.