Thatgamecompany, an American independent video game studio, announced that it has raised an additional $7 million in funding from Capital Today and a team of other investors. The capital will be used in game development, laying the infrastructure to self-publish, marketing, etc.
Thatgamecompany was formerly a developer for Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation games when it was founded in the spring of 2006. The company then became independent after secured funding. Thatgamecompany is engaged in creating video games that provoke emotional responses from players. Its video games include the award-winning Flash title flOw, Flower, and Journey.
Days before the studio releases the funding news, Jenova Chen, Thatgamecompany’s Chinese co-founder who received education in Shanghai and established his business in the U.S, joined our startup and technology meetup series Tech Node Touch (TNT) in Beijing. Here are some of his insights on gaming industry.
- Chinese game developers are more pragmatic, while their foreign counterparts put more emphasis on concepts. With the rise of mobile gaming trend, the Chinese mobile games available on various platforms become homogeneous, whether they are card games or casual games. In order to reduce risks, Chinese developers tend to adopt ideas that have been proven successful and put more efforts in game operations. This partly because Chinese market is large enough to allow the existence of similar products. But foreign teams will not duplicate existing ideas and they will put more energy and time in developping innovative games.
- I noticed that the mobile games based on WeChat platform ranked among the tops in the free app list of iOS platform. Although these games are casual games with simple gameplays, the social features of them can bring more fun to players. The revenue from mobile QQ- and WeChat-based games reached 1.8 billion yuan (around$290 million) in the first quarter of this year, while this figure for first two quarters is expected to reach 2.4 billion yuan.
- Social gaming is a trend. Even if the platforms don’t develop this business, game developers will do it anyway. For example, Game Of War, a U.S. game connects people from different countries around the world by Google Translate, become an instant success by creating an international community with enhanced user viscosity.
- Mobile games become popular among users thanks to easy operation and availability in fragmented leisure times. Successful web games and terminal games will be transplanted to mobile games.
Please click here for a detailed Chinese transcript of his speech.