China’s game industry to many, is nothing more than copy and pasting Western and Japanese games. China knows it, the world knows it. A Taiwanese game developer named “Marco” came out and talked about the possible death of the Chinese gaming industry.
The following are excerpt explains Marco’s change from Taiwan to the Mainland, and how he came to see the Chinese gaming industry as decaying. The excerpts, translated and summarized from website NetEase, have been re-organized for flow.
Marco, originally from Taiwan, had been working in the game industry for over 10 years, when he was drawn to the Chinese Mainland from Taiwan.
Early on during his time in the Mainland, Marco would visit internet cafes, local Mainland game companies, and just talk to gamers who showed up at events. Marco hoped to learn more about the mainland market, because even though Taiwan and the Chinese mainland speak the same language and share much of the same culture, there was still a lot of differences between the two.
During his time in the Mainland, Marco saw the gaming market grow. Originally mainland gamers were playing 2D games while their Taiwanese counterparts were dabbling with 3D. Marco also witnessed trends from the rise of the web and client games to social and mobile games.
One thing that shocked Marco was that with each evolution of the gaming industry in the Mainland, the industry itself was trying to play catch-up. Companies and clients would constantly ask developers if they had a client based game; soon that question became if they had a social game, and now it’s if they have a mobile game.
However that game of catch-up isn’t the problem. Marco said that the combination of web, mobile, and social, has created a demand that games be cross-platform. He says that this cross-platformization leads into globalization, where the games would then need be to available and accessible to audiences world-wide. With globalization and cross-platformization, a model of joint partnership and operators has come to be. Chinese gaming companies would work with foreign companies to licence and operate their games, and vice versa for Western games coming to China.
According to Marco, the cross-platformization, globalization, and the joint partnership model are the three major problems with the Chinese gaming industry. Marco cited a desire to create cross-platform capable games for a global market as a good thing, but because there are so many games made the games that reach a global market are picked by joint partnerships. He said that some games are left out.
Ultimately, Marco stated that the Chinese gaming industry needs to go through a revolution to save itself, otherwise it is doomed. Unfortunately for us, and NetEase, Marco does not give any examples of what Chinese developers and gaming companies can do to save themselves. Maybe stop ripping people off?