China’s Mobile Gaming Industry is Coming

Chinese mobile game developer Seasun Entertainment opened their new location in San Mateo, California.

The company is planning to focus on mobile game development and publishing, and investing in small and medium sized companies around the world. The company will bring their games to a new audience in North America, the first being Relics of Gods. The game will be released on iOS in North America and Europe this summer.

There are several other Asian mobile game developers setting up locations in North America. Mixi, Japan’s number one game developer is bringing Monster Strike to the U.S. market, and also has a location in San Francisco. NCSoft from South Korea, has set up a location in San Mateo, California as well. Many are venturing over because they want to expand their audience.
chinamobileinsert1China’s revenue is at $6.1 billion, just under U.S.’s $6.3, and expected to rise up to $7.7 billion next year.  Mobile games are increasing in popularity, especially since the majority of citizens own a smartphone. Despite the ban on consoles, they’re still too expensive for most citizens, and aren’t becoming as popular as some would think. It’s still incredibly hard to develop games for the Chinese market.

According to Venturebeat, 91% of games in China don’t have an audience. This all has to do with the publisher. The company needs to be able to meet the demands of the publishing company, and who may even drop the game after a few weeks of not making money. There are a few resources to help developers, but it’s still pricey, especially since publishers will take roughly 70% of the revenue. App stores like Google Play don’t exist in China, so choosing the right store out of the wide selection is difficult.

That’s where Kick9, a publishing company that describes distribution as a service, comes in. Founder and CEO Yon Wang told GamesBeat, that China has too many distribution options. “Stores like 91.com and others are very powerful. They control the traffic. And for the small developer, they don’t have the time to work with every channel. Publishers, however, have the relationships with all these channels.”

Wang said all these factors makes the market unsustainable. Kick 9 helps by providing all the services needed to domestic and foreign developers like research, localization, and testing, but only if the original developers want it. They only take 20% of the revenue, or up to 50% depending on the services developers use, and allow for the developers to get some outside help as well.

Both the Apple and Android app stores are very saturated, especially since the iOS has an older, more established store. With iOS being the more popular option in North America, these new companies will have to adapt. As of July 2010, there were 43,185 app developers for Apple. As of right now, only 0.25% of revenue from the top 250 applications goes to newcomers according to Distimo.

Competing against domestic  companies will be hard for these companies overseas, but hopefully it’ll bring in some diversity.