mobile gaming The economy has been in a state of flux for the past few years, and it has become quite difficult to predict what will happen next. China has its own unique issues, which stem primarily from the country’s desire to rein in the market and provide greater security and privacy to all parties.
Despite this, the Chinese mobile economy has continued to flourish over the past 18 months. Last year was a big year for China’s mobile landscape as mobile app publishers found new audiences and discovered new mobile advertising channels, many of which are here to stay. 681.7 million mobile gamers were reported in China in 2020. To add to this, the country also leads the way As for gross revenue, mobile gaming revenues accounted for over 35% of worldwide mobile gaming revenue in 2020.
Western publishers have taken note, but recent regulatory action has put some on hold. What can be done to help address some of these concerns and open up the market to global gaming publishers?
China’s top developers are going global
It could be argued that Chinese tech giants like Tencent and Netease have actually seen these restrictions as a phenomenon and acted accordingly by investing in and acquiring global studios. Tencent alone has invested in more than 30 gaming companies, including Roblox, Supercell, Riot and Voodoo.
Chinese publishers adopting global strategy increase their revenue 36.7% in 2020 And seeing more revenue in international markets than China. Some of these are driven by publishers to fan-friendly free-to-play (F2P) games with well-executed advertising monetization models with in-app purchases (IAPs) from ISBN-restricted games.
Given that mobile gaming giants like Zynga and Scopely have a winning formula for gaming IP as well as ample resources, there is an opening in the market for cross-platform growth. To be clear, this is an ambitious goal, but it can be seen as a need to keep up with user and revenue growth.
What Western Publishers Are Learning from China
Publishers looking to head east are seeing the success of Chinese studios capitalizing on intellectual property (IP) in their home markets, such as Journey to the West. Zynga has taken note of this and is investing in the market with IP titles for Harry Potter and an upcoming Star Wars mobile game.
Kabam’s Marvel IP has also been successful with its F2P game Contest of Champions Tops US chart for licensed action mobile games. Subsequently, Kabam partnered with Netez and localized the game for the Chinese market.