Mobile gaming

2013 is undoubtedly an eventful year for Chinese mobile gaming sector, which witnessed a spate of major merger and acquisitions. Suddenly, everyone planned to muscle into this industry, but is it that easy to take a bite of the cake? Publishing head of PopCap China Zhou Xin, CEO of Gameloft China Eric Tan, and CEO of Beintoo APAC Paul Chen tackled this problem at TechCrunch Shanghai today.

Cons

Paul Chen believed that it is difficult to make money from Chinese mobile gaming division, because domestic players are reluctant to pay for games and most developers harvest their revenue from the sales of in-game items and ads. In addition, it is tricky to set appropriate prices for these gaming items to make them more acceptable for users. Another monetization method for game developers is to launch cooperation with offline partners to roll out peripheral products.

There are few app distributors abroad, such as app store and Google Play, but the number of domestic distribution platforms amounted to 200 to 300, which become a major momentum for the development of Chinese mobile gaming sector.

With an emphasis on sales as well as partnerships with brands and developers, Beintoo opened its Asia Pacific office in Shanghai. Paul Chen, former general manager of Rovio China who has deep understandings about Chinese market, just been named as CEO of APAC region this September.

Eric Tan agreed with Paul. He disclosed that Gameloft operated around ten exclusive licensed games and several homegrown ones in the past year, but only received mediocre feedback from the users. The company planned to cut this number to five or six in 2014. Eric pointed out three problems encountered by game developers are large app package, monetization model, and piracy.

Pros

However, Zhou Xin with PopCap China, operator or Chinese version of Plants VS Zombies 2, thinks otherwise. Backed by a large Chinese market, PopCap has been tackling the problems mentioned by Eric for the past two years. PopCap managed a smaller app package with lower resolutions, which is still acceptable to gamers, to secure more low-end users. The company also provides more convenient payment methods. To prevent piracy, PopCap released the Chinese version of Plants VS Zombies 2 before the foreign version and launched cooperate with distribution channels.

Plants VS Zombies 2 continues the success of this franchise, taking the crown on App store free list seven hours after its debut on July 31, and then the top position with over 2 million down loads in October.