PopCap Games, maker of popular titles like Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma and so forth, announced today to launch two new franchises of Plants vs. Zombies, namely PvZ Great Wall edition and PvZ Kingdoms with Tencent partnership for the latter’s QQ Game center, a move of the company’s broader plan to dive deeper into local market with tailored titles rather than just scratch the surface by translating games into local language.
The China-tailored editions of PvZ will have many Chinese elements including customized content, characters and bespoke Chinese mini games.
PvZ Great Wall edition for Android will be made available on QQ’s game center on 18th of this month. While the Kingdoms edition is currently in development and is expected to launch later this year. These two games are all developed by PopCap’s Shanghai studio which is staffed by more than 100 people while about 80% of them are involved in game developing.
Create in Asia for Asian
David Roberts, CEO of the company explained to me in an interview about their thinking of adapting into local markets, creating products in Asia for Asia, namely, creating in China for Chinese/in korea for Korean/and in Japan for Japanese.
Given Plants vs. Zombies’ popularity here, starting with this title is a wise choice to ramp up the game vendor’s China effort. Also, David said that PopCap is actively looking to make more China-specific games over the next few years.
As of now Plants vs. Zombies has a huge user base of more than 150 million in China, making it the No.1 title of PopCap for China market. One fourth of its users are paid users.
Except for creating in China for Chinese, the Seattle-based company has also leveraged on local partners for marketing purpose by teaming up with China’s social networking services. For example, its collaboration with Renren.com, the Chinese social site, on Plants vs. Zombies brought in more than ten million installations.
On the other hand, speaking of the rapid evolvement of gaming platform, David said that actually the first version of Plants vs. Zombies was made on PC in 2008, and probably no one at that time had ever imagined that in couple years the most popular platform for the game would be shifted to iOS. Yet that’s the case now for PopCap.