Chinese Mobile Gaming Exposed: Fireside Chat with TechCrunch#039;s Kim-Mai Cutler amp; Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong
On Yodo1′s last visit to San Francisco this July/August, we hosted a fireside chat with CEO Henry Fong and top TechCrunch reporter Kim-Mai Cutler on the state of about Chinese mobile gaming. They covered a wide range of related topics, such as China’s massive Android appstore ecosystem, popular genres, and future trends. Henry also shared a number of tips on how to get maximum distribution and monetization for a mobile game in the China market. The full video is embedded in this post, with highlights summarized by timecode below:
00:30 – 4:15: The size of the Chinese Android/iOS market (400 million-550 million this year), and how mobile games monetize in China (discovery, revenue share, conversion, carrier billing, etc.)
4:16 – 6:55: Popular, well-monetized genres in Chinese mobile gaming (from MMOs to single player casual games like Defiant Development’s Ski Safari).
6:56 – 8:53: Mobile game revenue — how much in taxes and other fees are charged; how much net the game developer makes.
8:54 – 13:35: China’s epic Android ecosystem – how to understand a market with 400 app stores, and the big players in China’s Internet economy now in the appstore space (including Baidu and the China telecoms); appstore rev share also discussed.
14:00 – 17:54: The rise of WeChat as a game distribution platform, compared to KakaoTalk in Korea. Potential rev share on WeChat and dealing with TenCent as a partner and competitor also discussed.
17:55 – 19:53: The state of online payments in China, both on iOS and Android with one-click carrier billing.
19:54 – 22:42: Monetization on high end versus low end mobile phones, and why most monetized mobile gamers are very young and from smaller Chinese cities.
22:43 – 25:30: How to develop and publish games which appeal to Chinese mobile gamers through culturalization — or, overcoming the “Who the hell is King Arthur?” problem.
26:01 – 30:10: Audience question from Dave Pottinger of BonusXP (developer of Yodo1′s Cavemania): How to do discovery and distribution in China (appstores, media sites, handset preloads, etc), and monetization.
30:11 – 33:55: Advertising revenue in Chinese mobile games, and how it’s optimized. Ski Safari ad revenue (versus IAP) discussed.
34:00 – 38:23: How free-to-play is optimized in China, versus in the West. Stimulating IAP consumption, removing transaction frictions, pricing items to the demographic. Virtual currency, versus direct purchase of virtual goods.
38:30 – 40:05: Brand loyalty trends among games and publishers, and cross-promotion strategies in China.
40:15 – 41:10: The status of Windows Phone games in the China market, versus Android and iOS.
41:30 – 43:50: The future of mobile gaming in China in the next two years. Convergence of gaming behavior in the West and China around free to play.
44:15 – 45:50: Video of Ski Safari’s evolution as a Chinese game. (Higher quality version embedded below.)