Jeff Lyndon, co-founder of iDreamSky, shared with us how to help online games from outside be successful in China market at TechCrunch Shanghai.

Here are some takeaways from Mr. Lyndon you won’t miss and most game operators in China must agree on.

  • Compress package files, given a considerable number of Chinese users may suffer from slow download speed. The smaller the better so that users would be more willing to download your games. iDreamsky helped Temple Run’d file reduce from 48MB to 19MB.
  • Culturalization. Translation isn’t enough. You’d better replace some names or sayings in the original game with what Chinese users are familiar with. Users in first-tier cities who are better informed may have known about your games, but you still have to localize your games as those in the third- or fourth – tier cities who account for 70%-80% of Chinese users may not know about those games.
  • Not releasing games at the same time in China means giving a chance to pirates and clones. This is a strategy now every online game distributor in China would tell developers from outside. Mr. Lyndon warned developers that it’d be a mistake if anyone thinks the market outside China is big enough and would tend to it later. The reasoning is Chinese users who have downloaded a game when it is launched won’t adopt clones which must some time to build. When Fruit Ninja released the first version, there emerged more than 40 clones within the coming year. After Fruit Ninja began working with iDreamsky, they’d release new versions in China at the same time with the launch in the overseas markets.

When it comes to how to ran your gaming business in China, Mr. Lyndon thinks, of the three approaches foreign developers would take, the best is to find a reliable local partner. Hire native Chinese and building a team also work — a lot of Korean developers do so. He doesn’t think importing staff from developers’ own countries is a good idea.

As a well-known distributor that imports overseas games to China market, iDreamsky has distributed almost 100 most popular games worldwide such as Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, among others. Previously the company took outsource work for overseas mobile game products.

iDreamsky claims it has covered 99% of distribution channels including the three telecom operators. As of April 2013, 160 million mobile phones with Android system have been installed with game products distributed by iDreamsky, the company said.

Co-founded by a trio team in Shenzhen in 2009, the company now has 350 employees in 5 Chinese cities.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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