11 Mar Mobile Gaming Roundup CHINA – 03/11/2016
China using browser game strategies | New games atop the usually locked iOS ranking | Top App Store 360’s Steam-like platform
Highly profitable browser-based game production strategy used in China’s mobile game market.
In 2012, when Mobile games were still new to the Chinese games industry, people assumed it would be a direct transition from browser-based games to Mobile. Due to different game designs and different audiences, this assumption quickly proved to be false. However, the Chinese games industry is now picking up what was left behind in browser-based games. Instead of transferring content, they now mimic browser-based games’ operation strategy – known as the ‘production line’. Developers are now focused on creating a core game engine system, while constantly making cosmetic changes and minor content changes on to make each title appear to be different gamers. Previously, studios would take 6+ months to develop a high quality game, and spend another 6 months on making another. Now, studios will develop one game in 6 months, create 10 variations in 2 months and distribute them to different channels. Revenue-wise, this production line strategy is profitable in the short term. However, in the long run it will probably bring irreversible harm to the mobile games industry.
In 2015, the Chinese mobile market saw the same game titles on the top 50 iOS download ranking board. In 2016, this trend is changing, as we see more new games reaching the top 50 ranking board. This year, there are 21 games on the Chinese IOS top download board which have been released less than 6 months ago. With all the new games hitting the top ranking board, it is possible we will see a more critical pattern change in the next few months.
With the furious competition within the Chinese mobile game market, developers and publishers often need to set a high marketing budget to get their titles to the targeted audience. The promotion fee for a a typical triple A game is reaching 20-30M in RMB ($4.6M USD). 360, the largest Android game store in China, is promoting their new platform, claiming that they reduce the general UA cost for new game developers if they have high quality games. The expectation board will be 100% based on players’ reactions with zero intervention by any human, similar to the Steam Greenlight process.
Top Games on March 11, 2016 (iPhone, China)
Top 3 Free iOS apps
- Zhan dou ba jian ling (Blade and Soul Mobile, Card battle)
- Legend of the Qing Qiu Fox (adaptation of famous TV series, MMORPG)
- Clash Royale
Top 3 Paid iOS apps
- She diao ying xiong zhuan 3D
Jue zhan: shu ma shi jie (adaptation of famous anime “Digimon”, Card battle)
Ba dao tian xia
Top 3 Grossing iOS apps
- Fantasy Westward Journey
- Clash Royale
- Westward Journey Online