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Chinese publishers set sights on global expansion

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-13 10:13

Visitors play video games at an electronic games exhibition in Los Angeles, California, on June 13. [Photo/Xinhua]

An increasing number of Chinese mobile game publishers are setting their sights beyond their home turf and actively exploring overseas markets, according to a recent report.

Jointly released by mobile analytics company App Annie and Google, the report said Chinese mobile game publishers saw a significant jump of 60 percent in overseas consumers' payments from Apple Inc's iOS App Store and Google Play Store during the past two years, hitting nearly $4 billion in the first half of 2019.

Chinese publishers reported nearly 2 billion overseas downloads via iOS App Store and Google Play Store in the first half of this year, compared with 1.1 billion in the first half of 2017.

Dai Bin, App Annie's regional director for China, said that after years of development, Chinese mobile games have gained popularity globally and find themselves well positioned in the industry.

"Chinese mobile games have built an advantage in emerging markets, while they are still at the initial stage in developed markets," Dai said. "Now Chinese publishers need to pay more attention to developed markets and increase investment accordingly, as there remains considerable room for revenue growth in these fast-growing markets.

"We believe the developed markets will bring huge benefits for Chinese game companies considering the growing demand for new types of games and the ability and willingness of consumers to pay for the products," Dai added.

On average, Chinese publishers' share of consumer spend in individual markets was less than 20 percent in the first half of this year, up 51 percent from the first half of 2018.

App Annie noted in the report that Chinese publishers account for a relatively small percentage in mature markets including Japan, South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, but their market share is growing rapidly.

In emerging markets, Chinese publishers have a high consumer spend share, the report said. India saw the highest consumer spend increase of 110 percent from Chinese publishers, followed by Russia with 73 percent. While in Southeast Asia, which is the top region in terms of Chinese games downloads, the growth rate of downloads is slowing.

Generally, companies based in China, Japan and the US account for the majority of mobile game spending in overseas markets.

As China's demographic dividend is disappearing and there is greater regulation regarding game content, increasing numbers of Chinese game companies are accelerating their efforts to expand abroad, aiming to gain new momentum from overseas markets. And many have already reaped the rewards.

For instance, Legacy of Discord-Furious Wings, a Chinese fantasy themed mobile game, has attracted a huge following globally, gaining leading spots in the sales rankings of 57 countries and regions.

Published by Shanghai-based Yoozoo Games Co Ltd, the role-playing action game now supports 16 languages and covers more than 190 countries and regions.

Another report released by Google and Chinese gaming database Gamma Data Corp showed that the revenue generated by Chinese mobile game companies only accounts for 15.8 percent of the total overseas market, leaving huge room for growth.

China's mobile gaming revenue reached $19.44 billion last year, accounting for 30.8 percent of total global revenue, the report said.

"China's mobile game market is gradually expanding, but it is seeing a continuous slowdown in growth rate," Gamma Data said. "The overseas mobile market is growing in size. While a growing number of Chinese game companies have entered the global market, they still occupy a low market share overseas. I suggest they beef up efforts to expand overseas to generate new streams of revenue."

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