Gamasutra Interviews Henry on China's Mobile Gaming Market – Here's Five Highlights!
Gamasutra has a good interview with our CEO Henry Fong on secrets of the Chinese mobile gaming market this week! Here’s five highlights that game developers who want to succeed in China should pay close attention to:
Western game developers aren’t allowed to operate in China without a local partner representing them: “Western studios could be squeezed out of the market with the flip of a switch, as only Chinese companies can get the licenses required to operate games and earn money from them.”
When localizing Western games for the Chinese audience, make them seem like they were made in mainland China: “‘Even the tone of the story, background, the whole use of Chinese slang that even Taiwanese Chinese or Hong Kong Chinese wouldn’t understand; you really have to be a local Chinese gamer in order to appreciate the nuances,’” says Fong.
Game developers should price in-app payment options with extremely wide ranges: “[Fong] suggests pricing both low and high — with packs offering from one dollar to 60 or 80 dollars of virtual currency — because the demographic is ‘really fragmented.’ A small percentage of players will “just buy the most expensive item because they can. And they do it blind.’”
Chinese mobile gamers buy a lot on in-game consumables to compete with each other: “’With the MMO or online strategy, it’s more about designing consumable monetization mechanics and IAP that drives competitive play,’ says Fong. While this sounds like a hardcore audience, Fong says that it’s a compelling one on Chinese smartphones and tablets. Clans and guilds compete on the games on these platforms.”
Most iPhones in China are now legit and connected to the official China App Store: “[T]he instance of jailbroken iPhones has dropped from 70 to 80 percent of the market a year ago to the reverse. ‘It wasn’t about the money, it was about the entire user experience,’ says Fong. Apple’s store didn’t used to accept Chinese currency, and the localization of the interface wasn’t up to snuff. ‘Nowadays, it’s so much easier to do it via the App Store,’ he says. Those who can afford an iPhone, he says, can also afford to pay for games — and will.”