The Trends of Chinese Market

The Trends of Chinese Market

The team of X.D. Network discussed the Chinese game market, trends in their country, and the future of the industry.

The team of X.D. Network discussed the Chinese game market, trends in their country, and the future of the industry.

We are X.D. Network, a game developer and publisher based in Shanghai, China. We started as a mobile game developer, then we started to publish mobile games. And now we also publish premium and indie titles from China and all over the world.

We developed and published Ragnarok M: Eternal Love in China (licensed by Gravity), published Girls Frontline in Korea and Taiwan and many other mobile freemium titles. On the premium side, we published Icey worldwide on multiple platforms, Muse Dash and To The Moon on mobile and coming to Switch worldwide, Brothers – a Tale of Two Sons on mobile in China. And we just co-announced with 505 Games we’re bringing a mobile version of Human: Fall Flat to China.

We publish games from China to the world and games from the world to China. When working with developers, we provide funding, QA and technical support, also localization support if needed.

Chinese Market

It was literally all freemium games on mobile platforms back in the days. We did see the potential of “pay to download” in China several years ago and we were actually one of the firsts to dive into premium and indie projects in China. And we got some encouraging results.

Indie and premium games are a booming market in China, not a niche new trend anymore. Also, premium games in China are not necessarily small games. Of course, they are not as well-founded as AAA titles but still possess a fairly amount of content to compete. In the past year, we’ve witnessed several indie titles achieving millions of copies sold across all platforms, and they are all proudly made by Chinese indie developers.

The market is not that small. There is a big amount of freemium game players who are actually open to and willing to pay for good premium titles. With Icey setting the record of 1.6 million copies sold on mobile platforms and 70% of the mobile copies sold worldwide (TapTap). I think it’s fair to say China actually has a good amount of premium game players. And the number is still growing, too.

With smartphones becoming more and more popular, China has a much larger portion of players on smartphones than in the west. That is also the case when speaking about single player games.

There are more than several hundred thousand people working in the game industry in China currently. Many of the Chinese indie developers have experience of developing or working on mobile games and MMOs. Since current working generation grew up playing console games, more and more become indie developers who see games as a way to express themselves. A one-man-army or a group of more than ten people, their team sizes varies just like the ones in the west. Most of them are from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, which are also the locations of the Chinese game industry. These cities have different policies supporting the game industry.

The styles of the games depend on the developers’ choices. Some of them aim for the international market and take more inspiration from western games, some of them might just focus on Asia. If the “westernized” is referring to art-style then we think it might help in a small amount. But we believe that it’s always the polished core mechanics and interesting gameplay that attract players and earn their respect.

The premium game market in China is definitely bigger than ever. Like we said above, the premium market in China is not a small one and with big growth potential. And there will be more and more developers and studios joining the trend and building premium titles.

The Team of X.D. Network

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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