During the Casual Connect Tel Aviv conference, Jex Li from Tencent told what the Chinese market of PC games, mobile games and applications looks like. And he shared what projects need to be done to achieve success on this market.
According to Li, China has been on its way to today’s economic success for decades. He named 1975 as the starting point, when the country was in a deep economic crisis. After that, for 40 years, China has consistently developed until it reached its current position. At the moment, Lee believes, the country’s economy is the fastest growing in the world.
The situation is similar with the Internet industry in general and the games market in particular. In total, in 2015, 50% of the population in China, or 658 million people, are Internet users. And almost 90% of them are smartphone owners. This is 1.5 of the US population, Lee stressed.
Answering the question of which applications are in the greatest demand, Lee named QQ and WeChat. He noted that these two messengers have long gone beyond the messaging service. With the help of QQ and WeChat, users sell things and services, pay for purchases and distribute games.
What do the most popular Chinese games look like? The greatest demand, I’m sure, is for “antique” projects – with references to the history of China. For example, games based on the classic Chinese epic “The Three Kingdoms”. This applies to both mobile games and PC.
Li spoke about the volume of the Chinese gaming market. According to him, the country’s gaming market in 2016 will amount to $26 billion, which makes it the largest in the world. In the coming years, the figure will reach $32 billion, which is almost a third of the global gaming market.
Of the $26 billion, the share of client PC games in 2016 will account for $10 billion. The most popular genre in this segment of the industry is RPG. The second most popular is MOBA.
Li called mobile the fastest growing segment of the Chinese gaming industry. In 2015, this segment owned 25% of the Chinese market ($7 billion). By the end of 2016, the share will grow to 31% ($ 9 billion), and in 2017 – already 33% ($ 11 billion). According to Lee, this is the highest growth rate in the world.
In mobile, the situation with genres is the same as in PC. RPGs remain the most popular. Among the top 50 projects of the Chinese market, this genre owns 70%. Strategies are in second place (15%).
The subgenre of turn-based strategies is the most popular: 56% of the number of top strategies refers specifically to it.
Li not only outlined the situation in the Chinese mobile market, but also told what difficulties Western publishers have to face. Among the main ones is the fragmentation of devices, their limited functionality due to cheapness. But in the first place, according to Lee, the lack of a convenient and uniform payment system.
As for the promotion of games, the approach should be multidimensional. It is necessary to simultaneously launch theme songs, marketing campaigns with celebrities and campaigns in several media at once. Lee called messengers the optimal gaming platform for the distribution of mobile games.