China mobile game market outlook for 2014

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Mobile games in China has enjoyed 100% growth each year for the last 2 years, so what about this year. 

In 2013 the total market size for mobile game reached RMB10 billion (around $1.6 billion). This year the number is expected to exceed RMB20 billion. So what are the reasons behind the tremendous growth? UXvibe has done some research and interviewed a couple of expert in mobile game field in China.

The 3 major factors are:

1.       Mobile phones are getting cheaper and more powerful. Many new models cost around $100 will have 4-core and sufficient memory to run heavier games.

2.       Price of mobile network traffic drops significantly.

3.       China is introducing 4g. Faster network allows better online gaming experience. The 4g network covers 30 of Chinas biggest cities where majority of the Chinese spenders live. China mobile is the first operator to introduce 4g, it expect to sell over 100 million 4g phones in the coming year.

With this kind of tremendous market growth, the Chinese is in big need of supply games from West. So if you have a good game, don’t doubt and don’t wait. Try to get yourself a publisher in China right away!

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How to get 100 million players – the King recipe

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I went to the Nordic Mobile Developer Summit where King gave the presentation “How to get 100 million players”. I have seen many presentations by King before, but thought this was the best one so far, so I want to share the with all my fellow indie developers the King recipe to cook your own addictive games.

The speaker, Lars Jörnow from King, summarized the success of Candy Crush in 8 points:

  1. Candy = Sweet association.
  2. Free = Freemium, with this model everyone can play. The key ingredients for monetization are:
    • Lives = extra life is something impatient people want to pay for.
    • Levels = unlock levels is for people that do not want to bug their friends.
    • Moves = extra moves at the end of the game play is for impulsive buyers.
    • Boosters = for those that want to beat other players.
  3. Accessible = everyone, everywhere. The most important is that player save their game progress on all devices. This requires a server solution where the game state can be stored. UXvibe do have this feature today. So the player can play on their computer at work(!), continue on the metro on their way home  and on the pad at home.
  4. Platforms = reach all types of devices. It is a matter of marketing and reach.
  5. Depth = many levels, evolving with new features. This is good for retention where the players will continue playing without  being bored.
  6. Social = have friends playing the same game = more fun, but it doesn’t need to be at the exact same time. The game needs to be able to work when the player is playing alone.
    To meet this need UXvibe is developing recorded game play. Where players can compete with their friends in real-time feeling but not exactly at the same time.
  7. Universal = appreciated globally, this is a huge challenge because of cultural differences. At least think globally as you develop the game.
  8. Evergreen game play = game classics like match 3 (Candy Crush), Chess, Tetris. The game should have a healthy mixture of skills and chance. Simplicity is also a key component. Nevertheless the player should cry out: “i just want to play one more time”!

The eight points sounds like common sense, however it is very hard to realize them. King claim that they have a secret working process to handle these 8 points which can be applied to new games.

At UXvibe we aim to help small game developer studios with some of these things, with our multiplayer platform we can help developers to make their games more social, accessible and help to build fun monetization concepts around social and multiplayer game play so you can focus on making the King of games!