2010 ChinaJoy Shows Direction of China’s Gaming Industry in the Next 10 Years

Chinajoy

This year’s China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, or ChinaJoy for short, might just be the industry benchmark for the next decade. For the longest time MMORPG (Massive Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Game) traditional games have dominated the market, resulting in some sort of bottleneck that has effectively slowed down the development of online gaming in China. To push forward and offer something new to the growing market of gamers in the country, the industry is exploring new directions, particularly mobile Internet access applications and lightweight games. Signifying the seriousness of this endeavor is the fact that several of the online gaming industry leaders have begun investing in such new platforms.

Last year’s breakaway hits “Happy Farm”(开心农场) and “Plants vs. Zombies” (植物大战僵尸) signaled a shift in the market. A good number of their users do not have access or are not interested in traditional online games. “Plants vs. Zombies” follows a business model that relies on ad revenue implanted in otherwise free games. Popcap, international industry leader of games such as “Plants vs. Zombies” and “Zuma” (祖玛), announced at ChinaJoy that it was partnering with Renren.com (Facebook of China), recognizing the country as a significant market for its products.

The 8th China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (or ChinaJoy for short) was held in Shanghai from July 29 to August 1.  It follows the footsteps of the United States’ E3 Exhibit (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) and Japan’s Tokyo Game Show as a similar type of interactive entertainment exposition, with the online gamers as the priority. The image shows the Guangyu Games booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

The 8th China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (or ChinaJoy for short) was held in Shanghai from July 29 to August 1. It follows the footsteps of the United States’ E3 Exhibit (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) and Japan’s Tokyo Game Show as a similar type of interactive entertainment exposition, with the online gamers as the priority. The image shows the Guangyu Games booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

Beijing third-party data analysis company Cnzz.com released a report in the latter half of 2009, predicting that by 2012 the online gaming market size in China will reach $6.06 billion USD (41.0 billion RMB), taking over half of the global online gaming market. The image shows the SunHome Network booth. (Photo by Yang Yi/ChinaFotoPress) (Credit Image: © ChinaFotoPress/ZUMApress.com)

Beijing third-party data analysis company Cnzz.com released a report in the latter half of 2009, predicting that by 2012 the online gaming market size in China will reach $6.06 billion USD (41.0 billion RMB), taking over half of the global online gaming market. The image shows the SunHome Network booth. (Photo by Yang Yi/ChinaFotoPress) (Credit Image: © ChinaFotoPress/ZUMApress.com)

According to an iResearch report published in 2010, the market size for online games in China was worth approximately US$4.00 billion (27.06 billion yuan), with annual growth of 30.2%.  Although the growth has slowed down slightly, the online gaming industry remains the largest segment of China’s Internet economy. Photograph of Cosplay members in costume. (Source: chinajoy.net)

According to an iResearch report published in 2010, the market size for online games in China was worth approximately US$4.00 billion (27.06 billion yuan), with annual growth of 30.2%. Although the growth has slowed down slightly, the online gaming industry remains the largest segment of China’s Internet economy. Photograph of Cosplay members in costume. (Source: chinajoy.net)

In a report released by Cnzz.com early this year, as of 2009 traditional major online games were the most dominant of all domestic online games. Apart from this, web-based online games are gradually gaining popularity with web users. (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

In a report released by Cnzz.com early this year, as of 2009 traditional major online games were the most dominant of all domestic online games. Apart from this, web-based online games are gradually gaining popularity with web users. (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

According to the Ministry of Culture’s White Paper statistics on online games in 2010, there were changes in the market shares among the online game operating companies: Tencent (腾讯) overtook Shanda (盛大)for the number one spot, Shanda and Netease (网易)take second and third place – the top three companies alone have captured 52.9% of the total market. The image shows attendees trying out games during the conference. (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

According to the Ministry of Culture’s White Paper statistics on online games in 2010, there were changes in the market shares among the online game operating companies: Tencent (腾讯) overtook Shanda (盛大)for the number one spot, Shanda and Netease (网易)take second and third place – the top three companies alone have captured 52.9% of the total market. The image shows attendees trying out games during the conference. (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

At the beginning of this year, Shanda successfully acquired the United States’ online gaming network Mochi Media, taking a step further towards global expansion.  The image shows Shanda’s booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

At the beginning of this year, Shanda successfully acquired the United States’ online gaming network Mochi Media, taking a step further towards global expansion. The image shows Shanda’s booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

Netease currently holds the exclusive rights to “World of Warcraft” (魔兽世界) in China.  “World of Warcraft” has had twists and turns in China but as of December 2009, it had the highest number of active paying users among all online games in the country and is the most popular online role-playing game in China.  The image shows the Netease booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

Netease currently holds the exclusive rights to “World of Warcraft” (魔兽世界) in China. “World of Warcraft” has had twists and turns in China but as of December 2009, it had the highest number of active paying users among all online games in the country and is the most popular online role-playing game in China. The image shows the Netease booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

As China’s online games market develops rapidly, relevant government departments are becoming increasingly strict in the management of this market.  In October last year, China prohibited various forms of foreign companies from investing in online game operations within the country in order to dispel the government’s concerns on inappropriate content within online games.  (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

As China’s online games market develops rapidly, relevant government departments are becoming increasingly strict in the management of this market. In October last year, China prohibited various forms of foreign companies from investing in online game operations within the country in order to dispel the government’s concerns on inappropriate content within online games. (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

The protection of minors seems like a sword constantly hanging over the head of online gaming companies, according to the statistics from a White Paper on online games, at present, among major online gamers, 17% of the total player ratio comes from under-18 minors, or approximately 11,783,000 players.  (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

The protection of minors seems like a sword constantly hanging over the head of online gaming companies, according to the statistics from a White Paper on online games, at present, among major online gamers, 17% of the total player ratio comes from under-18 minors, or approximately 11,783,000 players. (Source: en.chinajoy.net)

In this recent ChinaJoy, Sun Shoushan – Deputy Director of the Press and Publication Department – said that the Press and Publication Department will continue promoting solutions to cure online gaming addiction, as well as complete a national ID verification system to achieve real name authentication (upon login) within online games soon.  But some gamers are concerned that real name authentication system cannot fully protect minors, and may even endanger the privacy of users.  Image shows two monks and a woman standing beside the Ku6 booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

In this recent ChinaJoy, Sun Shoushan – Deputy Director of the Press and Publication Department – said that the Press and Publication Department will continue promoting solutions to cure online gaming addiction, as well as complete a national ID verification system to achieve real name authentication (upon login) within online games soon. But some gamers are concerned that real name authentication system cannot fully protect minors, and may even endanger the privacy of users. Image shows two monks and a woman standing beside the Ku6 booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

Another widely discussed issue with regards to the online gaming industry in China is the matter of fee charging.  At present, Chinese online gaming companies usually charge through equipment (in game) purchased, while foreign companies charge based on time.  Cnzz.com asserts that charging based on time would be more fair and just, as this means that the player who plays best and not the player who spends most gets the upper hand.  Image shows the Giant (巨人) booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

Another widely discussed issue with regards to the online gaming industry in China is the matter of fee charging. At present, Chinese online gaming companies usually charge through equipment (in game) purchased, while foreign companies charge based on time. Cnzz.com asserts that charging based on time would be more fair and just, as this means that the player who plays best and not the player who spends most gets the upper hand. Image shows the Giant (巨人) booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

In addition, Chinese online gaming companies find it difficult to prevent piracy and illegal peripheral programs.  The image shows two showgirls being photographed. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

In addition, Chinese online gaming companies find it difficult to prevent piracy and illegal peripheral programs. The image shows two showgirls being photographed. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

The Ministry of Culture’s White Paper also noted that another outstanding problem in the country’s online gaming industry is that some online gaming companies neglect the users’ right to protection from disputes.  Image shows the Perfect World booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

The Ministry of Culture’s White Paper also noted that another outstanding problem in the country’s online gaming industry is that some online gaming companies neglect the users’ right to protection from disputes. Image shows the Perfect World booth. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina/ZUMApress.com)

More interestingly, industry bigwigs such as Tencent (腾讯), Shanda (盛大) and Giant(巨人) have initiated their foray into these new platforms, with Giant and Tencent cooperating on the development of “Green Journey” (绿色征途). Early this year, it was reported that Shanda was venturing into browser games. Shanda’s recent acquisition, Mochi Media, officially launched its operations in China, focusing its development resources on a smaller gaming portal. Mochi Media General Manager for China Huang Xiaohu noted that the company was in talks with advertisers over the development of flash games for the Chinese market.

More importantly, gaming industry leaders are looking into cross-platform entertainment, as seen in the case of “A Ghost blows out the Light”(鬼吹灯) and its variations on film, literature and now as an online game. Writers of novels such as “Age of Heroes 2” (英雄年代2) and “Dragon Valley” (龙之谷) have signed with Shanda to have their literary works translated into online games. Interestingly, Kingsoft (金山软件), another online gaming company, is now working on the television adaptation of its online game, “Swordsman 3” (剑网3).

All in all, cross-platform entertainment and lightweight, web-based games are the wave of the future for China’s gaming industry.

Sources
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ifeng.com
wsj.com

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