After China opened up to online gaming in 2006 the local industry jumpstarted with massive growth. By the end of 2013 the online segment was already estimated to be worth 13.5 billion USD (Source: Techinasia). In comparison: The total US market size was 20.5 billion USD at that time (Source: Newzoo). And the US market is already mature – China is far from that. In terms of the number paying gamers China is already ahead. The gamers just spend less on average – for now. This gives a rough idea of how important the Chinese market is and how much more potential it has.
ChinaJoy is one of the best known and most important industry events in Asia. ad2games went to Shanghai For ChinaJoy 2014, which took place from 31st of July to the 3rd of August. The enormous Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) hosted the event. Currently, ChinaJoy is clearly catered to a Chinese audience. Most of the staff does not speak English, neither do most of the exhibitors. This is something you need to be prepared for when attending the event. And don’t expect an US or European level of organization – working WiFi is just as hard to come by as a list of the exhibitors or a detailed map of the trade show.
That doesn’t take away from the relevance of the event: The exhibitors showed a strong focus on free-to-play gaming, especially for the online and console markets. One of the most noticeable titles was King of Wushu by Suzhou based Snail Games. Despite it’s name, Snail Games has quickly grown to an impressive 1.500 employees since it was founded in 2000. With a user base of over 70 million accounts, Snail has already a strong standing in the US and Russian markets. Following the success of Dota2, League of Legends and the like, King of Wushu is a MOBA that will be released on XBOX One and PC. In terms of quality the game is on par with its competition – with great graphics and addictive gameplay this is one to keep an eye on for sure.
We also connected with the other major players in the Chinese free-to-play gaming industry. ChangYou and Youzu were two others that stood out. Both had a strong presence and successfully promoted their respective line-ups for the upcoming year. ChinaJoy is definitely the place to in order to have a full overview of the dramatic growth of the Chinese gaming industry. We’re looking forward to next year!
Alessandro (Junior Advertiser Account Manager)