Chinese Gaming Markets Surge as ChinaJoy Convention Approaches
After years of development, China’s game industry is now strong enough to explore the market outside China. This is coinciding with a widely known pessimism of MMO gamers that they have seen it all before and can no longer be satisfied with their current string of MMOs. This atmosphere is shaping up to create an explosive setting for ChinaJoy 2011, the premier Chinese gaming convention held annually in Shanghai.
“Going overseas” has long been a great ambition for China’s game industry. 2010 in particular marked a huge influx of Chinese developed games into the western market. According to China’s Game Industry Report 2010, a total of 82 game products developed by 34 Chinese Internet game companies entered the overseas market in 2010, with total sales revenue of $230 million, an 111 percent leap from the previous year.
Such achievements are attributed not only to the enhancing development capabilities of China’s game industry, but also the stake purchase and acquisitions of foreign enterprises by large-size Chinese game operators. Shanda’s purchase of Mochimedia and Eyedentity Games, the Korean developer of Dragon Nest, alongside The9’s purchase of Red 5 and strategic investment in Open Feint were just the beginning. The real news broke when Tencent announced the purchase of Riot Games for over $350 million in February 2011, which is proof of the prediction of Joe Steger, Chief of Ernst Young’s Global Technology Trading Unit, “I predict that Chinese companies will continue to consider purchasing foreign companies and looking for growth opportunities in the international market.”
At an industry annual conference in Beijing at the beginning of this year, China’s leading game companies all placed high priority on overseas expansion and mobile entertainment products. Mr. Sun Shoushan, Deputy Director of China’s General Administration of Press and Publication, addressed that the administration will initiate an overseas promotion program for China’s local-made Internet games to encourage and support qualified game companies in their overseas expansion.
According to China’s Game Industry Report 2010, China’s game development companies independently developed over 356 games in 2010, representing an increase of 35 games from 2009, while the growth rate maintained the same as 2009. Through years of growth, China’s game industry has turned out nearly 3,000 varieties of games, covering different types including MMO, Webgame, social game and mobile entertainment.
It is safe to say that China’s game industry has reached a stage where continued growth is impossible in the present without seeking international markets. Recent quality games like Eden Eternal and Forsaken World have shown that Chinese development is starting to show parity with their competition in Europe and the US.
Compared with European and US game companies, Chinese game companies are improving in their MMO products’ features, content updates, and graphics. Meanwhile, China’s constant stream of games provides multiple competitive titles to pressure the international market. According to Howell, the organizer of ChinaJoy scheduled for July 28-31, 2011, enquiries have come from various industry associations in countries and regions including Europe, the US, Korea, Japan, South and East Asia, Brazil and Russia seeking to establish partnerships with Chinese counterpart companies.
OnRPG, an official western media outlet for ChinaJoy, will be putting our attention on this event come the end of July to see what new and excited games emerge from this Media Frenzy of business deals and game porting plans.