Games are huge in China. Tencent, the biggest online games company in China just posted Q4 (to December 31) revenue of 2.2bn yuan. When I went to lunch the other day with my Chinese local colleagues I asked them why? They said, “There is no other choice for entertainment in China. TV is not good.” So of course the masses resort to playing games, especially social ones online with their friends or random people.
I talked with game start-up Founder and CEO, Clement Song of ECitySky. Started in 2007 and based in Beijing with about 40 people, ECitySky is building new technology that aims to change the way we play games.
Clement grew up in Beijing and moved to America when he was 15 years old for high school. He graduated from the University of Virginia in Computer Science. After graduating he worked in the Microsoft Research Team and later spent most of his time with the Xbox team.
He believes strongly that things become main-stream if it solve problems with efficiency. “Information used to be dispersed, then Google search orgnanized information. Finding people used to be difficult, then Facebook and social networking organized people” In order to enhance gaming experience for the user, his vision is to connect people at the same place and same time.
ECitySky’s core product is called Gamexiu.com. It is the world’s first 3D social entertainment platform that integrates social elements and real time game play. It is a free to play browser based game that connects with online communities, social networks like or a branded site. Users create one avatar identity to play across multiple games. Users can create a 3D avatar of themselves using their real face to give them identity. Users can customize their look by changing its clothes and outfit. You can then interact with the world by walking, running, sleeping, talking to other friends in this virtual world. It sounds a bit like SecondLife doesn’t it? But Clement says “the approach is different. We cut across many games, not one.” This is because game developers can continuously create new games for users, a bit like apps. Basic Flash and PHP developers can also create quick and simple 3D games on the ECitySky platform. Now the focus of ECitySky is to make a social MMO using this iGX platform and will distribute through social networks.
Clement is unsure of how selling real life physical goods would work inside the platform but believes that technology in the future will enable it. He also noted Alibaba’s failed attempt to implement a virtual world to walk around and click on items, “it wasn’t the right user experience.”
E-City Sky is angel funded from some of China’s top tech professionals including Chris Evdemon of Innovation works.