Why and How Should Western Game Developers Start Thinking China

Why and How Should Western Game Developers Start Thinking China

Once again, the China market proves herself as the most valuable market for the game industry as China made global revenue records on iOS platform revealed by the latest report in October by App Annie.

Earning over 1.7 billion USD in Q3 2016, China is throned as the largest iOS App Store revenue generator. US, that always be crowned as the top iOS market, has been followed closely by China from Q1 2016. The prediction that China would surpass US to become the leading market now proven.

(Source: AppAnnie)


Even though the report released by App Annie is not solely talking about game industry, but includes the entire global mobile market, it is noticeable that game is the section that drives the majority of China iOS revenue, and the trend has been on going from Q2 2016.

(Source: AppAnnie)


Undoubtedly, China market is a prosperous one that greatly driven by games. As I have always recommended, for Western game developers, thinking China is a wise strategic move to start developing their games.

Although I had mentioned that there are many success stories about Western game getting into the China market and become a big hit (Read more here), the success rate can only be increased if you consider China as a target market to start with.

One of the best moves in my opinion is to start the discussion with China publishers (of course, the good ones) in early stage of development, get them involved in the discussion of core game design, and understand what the publishers believe is the next big mobile game title and what they want for their next publishing deal. To stabilize your root in China market, understanding the culture of the market is crucial. In order to achieve that, establish a long term partnership with one of the best China publishers so that they can contribute to the design in early stage.

With that being said, your game should still be Western oriented. As a developer in the West, getting into the China market is not as easy as launching your product in the Western market. So, western developers should focus on their native market and other English speaking markets first. As I mentioned, the Western market is indeed huge. With the success in the west, you will be in a very good position to get into the China market to achieve even higher level of success. By thinking China with some key expandable elements/features for the China market in your early development stage,  you would  find the transition easier for you in the future when you decide to expand your brand into this juicy market.

The report also predicts that the trend of the China market will keep going upward towards 2020. By then, China is expected to lead the global absolute revenue growth.

You can download the original English report from here.

You can download the original Chinese report from here.

You can download Q1 report from here.

You can download Q2 report from here.


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You can check out my other Blog Posts here


About Seasun Inc 

Seasun is a leading Chinese online games publisher focused on creating high quality games/game engines that push the boundaries of player experience in action entertainment. The company is also involved in small-medium sized investments for game studios worldwide. We have recently started up our U.S. studio in Redwood City, CA to create top quality content for the western market.

Seasun has shipped many successful titles, including the popular MMORPG series JX (http://jx3.xoyo.com/), the MMOARPG titles First Myth (http://fs.xoyo.com/index1) and CQ (http://cq.xoyo.com/), along with our FPS MAT (http://xd.xoyo.com/). The “JX” series has grossed more than $250 million and has achieved a daily active user count of 3.3 million. We are currently building a special team of highly talented people to create the technology for our next-generation MMOARPG at this studio.

About Magic Fuel Games 

Founded in 2015 and based in San Francisco’s East Bay, Magic Fuel Games is focusing on developing games that capture the imagination of players. With a core team of industry veterans, bringing decades of development and AAA experience from games that have captivated gamers around the world. The company’s Series A was funded by Seasun Inc in February 2016 and has been growing its team and developing its 1st product since then.

About Kingsoft

Kingsoft, Seasun’s parent company, is publicly traded in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK: 3888) with market value of 3.8 billion USD. Kingsoft has created 3 other subsidiaries alongside Seasun: Cheetah Mobile (NYSE: CMCM), WPS Office, and Kingsoft Cloud Service. Kingsoft has over 4,000 employees worldwide.


Mantin Lu

About Mantin Lu

Strategic planner and project manager with 15 years of experience in the digital entertainment industry, Master’s degrees in business & engineering, and a track record of successful expansion in Asian and American markets.

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