So, what's your background in the industry?
JYZ: I have worked for Ubisoft for almost four years, and then joined CCP last year.
Ubisoft had the first console games entirely produced in China, right?
JYZ: Right. They have like Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Beowulf, and Rayman. These games have all developed in China. You can see so many people there. It's a big company.
It's a rapid evolution. Like you said, you worked there for four years, and now you've worked at CCP for one year. That's a quick evolution of the Shanghai console game industry.
JYZ: Before I started my career in the game industry, a lot of Chinese game developers, they were already there. Like, some people I've known have worked in the game industry for almost 10 years. His first game was at Ubisoft. It was Ghost Recon.
LH: And also, Rayman was pretty early. We have a colleague now that worked in Shanghai with Ubisoft. He's French. He worked on Rayman maybe in 2003. So, it goes back a little bit. I think it's slowly built up.
By the time I got here in 2005, Ubisoft was quite big, and they'd already had a few titles. By the way, Splinter Cell 2 was done in Shanghai also. Ubisoft has really been the powerhouse in getting things done.
Ubisoft seems to be the wellspring of the Shanghai Western-focused industry.
JYZ: Yes. That's true.
What attracted CCP here initially? I mean, you said it was to operate, but what made you think, "Okay, we should do development, as well"?
LH: I think it was a matter of tapping the market a little bit. Artistic talent is high. Technical skill is definitely high. There's obviously the cost of living that plays into it. I think the China market also plays into it. There are a lot of reasons why it makes sense to be here.
JYZ: Also, I think CCP has hired several people at the beginning, and these people knew about Chinese game development. They're aware of the game development on those Western games, and that's why.
LH: And I think also outsourcing might have played into it, the kind of value that we can get in outsourcing.
Do you think that there's anything about the Chinese game industry and Chinese-targeted games that people here can understand and bring over to the West that's valuable via these kinds of development projects?
JYZ: I think [as it gets] to later and later, it will be easier to do that. Because for now, we still have some culture difference between the West and China. But if we focus more on the Chinese-origin game, it will be a bit difficult to translate into the English, in the Western market because people will like different [things].
But what about not necessarily bringing over the actual games themselves but maybe observing the market and seeing the way it's going and looking at trends, and maybe just bringing over the ideas or concepts.
JYZ: If Chinese companies want to do that, they must have some people who really understand the market and can guide the development. That's not easy.
LH: One thing I'd like to note about Jing Yu, he spent some time over at Montreal working in the Ubisoft studio there before coming to CCP. You were there for eight months, something like that?
JYZ: Yeah, eight months.
LH: So, talking about that, I think you have companies that can maybe export some of their talent to game experience in the West or even add Chinese experience to Western companies. And I think that CCP is probably going to be one of those companies -- where our studios are located, and how that can benefit having that cross-cultural migration between studios.
That's exactly what I see.
JYZ: The same as the film industry. This is why a lot of Western movies from Hollywood and Europe, they can be very popular in China. But it's rare for a Chinese movie can be popular in the Western world. That's why -- it's exactly the same with games.