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The Western Mobile Games That Conquered China: Powerpoint Deck from Yodo1's GDC Talk

Mar 26, 2013 | By:

Thanks to everyone who came to our GDC talk, “The Western Games That Conquered China“. Here’s the slides from the session, along with some notes below for select slides:

Challenges for Western game studios
Among the challenges game developers from the US and EU face in China:

Monetization and payment:
Google Play is blocked, Amazon hasn’t launched, ad networks like Tapjoy and Admob don’t have enough local advertisers in China.

Discovery and distribution:
Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are blocked in China.

IP and Brand Protection:
While IP infringement is a problem in China, developers can work with local partners to replace unauthorized versions of their games in the app stores, leveraging off the pirated install base and using it as free distribution by pushing an update.

Cultural adaptation:
Language translation is not enough. Your game should look and play like it was developed in China.

Local SNS:
Instead of integrating your games with Facebook and Twitter (which are blocked in China), integrate with local social networks like QQ, Sina Weibo and hopefully the WeChat platform that’s anticipated to open up to gaming; each of these networks have 300-700m users.

China Hosted Servers:
Due to the “Great Firewall of China”, multiplayer and MMO games should avoid lag and service interruptions by hosting their servers in China.

Player Communities:
Yodo1′s SDK integrates player community features (chat, forum, screenshot sharing, etc.) within the game itself.

Making sense of China mobile game distribution:
There are literally hundreds of Android app stores in China. However, the top 20 stores drive 80% of the traffic.

Conquering China’s discovery and distribution chaos:
With a wide range of discovery, distribution, and payment providers, you need a local partner to manage these relationships.

How to Publish Mobile Games in China - test case, Ski Safari

Sky Safari:
Developed by our partner Defiant Development, the paid download version of the game was earning $69/day.

After adding light localization, local ad networks, Android distribution and payment, and new China-themed content (such as a panda and Chinese New Year outfit), we boosted daily revenue to about $15,000/day.

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