Chinese games prosper beyond border

Updated 2017-08-09 09:49:06 Global Times

Domestic video gaming industry pursues not only developed markets but also emerging ones

China's game developers, big or small, are busily exploring the overseas markets, not only in developed countries like the U.S., but also in emerging markets like India. The Global Times recently spoke with several Chinese developers about how they are conquering global markets with Made-in-China games. However, it seems that challenges have also emerged.

Looking back to 20 years ago, the video game was somewhat of an ambiguous concept for many Chinese. But now, the Chinese gaming industry has reached a phase of development whereby it is spreading beyond the Chinese border.

Two Chinese games were on the 2016 "Best Web Games" list compiled by Facebook. They are League of Angels II, a role-playing game developed by Shanghai-based Yoozoo Games, and role-playing game Naruto Online, developed by Hong Kong-headquartered Oasis Games.

On the Facebook page of League of Angels II, the Global Times noticed that more than 450,000 people "like" the game by press time on Tuesday.

Chinese games have also gained popularity on U.S. digital game distribution platform Google Play.

For example, Piano Tiles 2, a rhythm game developed by Beijing-based Cheetah Mobile, was on Google Play's hot mobile games ranking list.

Wang Si'en, Piano Tiles 2's game developer and vice president of Cheetah Mobile, said that Piano Tiles 2 ranked at the top of gaming lists in 150 countries and regions, including the U.S. and Japan where market access is the most difficult.

"The global market always holds an open attitude toward Chinese games, and they can achieve great popularity globally as long as the quality is high," Wang told the Global Times on Monday.

Testing overseas waters

In recent years, more and more domestic game developers have been testing the waters overseas.

An Jianwang, president of the overseas sales department under Cheetah Mobile, said that Cheetah has been helping about 300 domestic game developers, big or small, explore the international market over the past four years.

"Five years ago, domestic game developers went abroad mostly because they faced survival pressure in the home market, so they often fought on their own in the global market. Nowadays, developers like to work together and tend to focus more on the mobile game sector," An told the Global Times on Monday.

An also noted that diverse strategies had been adopted by different companies, with some big gaming companies being prone to entering the overseas market via acquisition of foreign gaming studios.

China's tech mammoth Tencent Holdings reportedly invested in UK-based gaming studio Milky Tea on August 2.

Just a few days before then, the company also bought 9 percent of shares of Frontier Developments, another UK-based video game developer. Tencent hadn't commented on those investments as of press time Tuesday.

Smaller firms are also busily exploring the overseas market. An said some of them even position the overseas market as their only business target.

One of such companies is Veewo Games, a Xiamen-based gaming company whose games like Super Phantom Cat are very popular on Google Play.

"We now mostly target overseas markets, and the domestic market is just a bonus for us," Jason Yeung, CEO of Veewo, told the Global Times on Friday.

Apart from developed countries like the U.S., emerging markets are also attracting Chinese game developers.

Yoozoo, which has gained some advantages in mature markets like the U.S. and Europe, also started to tap emerging markets like Russia.

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