Publishers: Some facts about China’s mobile games market

A recent blog from Gamasutra lists some publishers’  views on China’s mobile games market, some of the facts have been more or less mentioned at, and some opinions are controversial, such as future of the free-to-play model in China.

Hereby we list some key views of the blog, but developers need to treat them from a case-by-case view. Anyhow, publishers are always very good at summarizing regularities of past successful cases, which are not guarantee for future successes in a rapidly changing market.
  • In China you have to cover at least the Top 30 stores to give you 80% coverage and on top, you need to work with the carriers to get hold of their billing codes as carrier billing is still the most efficient solution of billing especially with casual type of games.
  • In the West you can use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All of these services are banned in China so you need to use the local equivalent services such as Sina Weibo, WeChat and Youku.
  • Art Style – Art based on Chinese history and folk tale is obviously different. Asian gamers, in general, like cute looking character features while US gamers like tough and realistic looks.
  • Game Play – US gamers like to be challenged and skills are heavily involved; Chinese gamers do not want to spend as much effort in the game but have patience to grind endlessly.
  • Chinese gamers have been playing free-to-play games a lot longer than US gamers. The power of IP is very strong. Chinese are very brand sensitive consumers. Users are not as adventurous as western gamers, and are less trusting of brands they do not know. Plants vs. Zombies 2 became an instant hit in China.
  • Service oriented is a must. Just launching the game without talking to the Chinese customers will not generate big success.
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