that China's three state-run mobile carriers have agreed to jointly publish up to one hundred mobile games by the end of 2015 in a bid to get a slice of the country's revenue-rich mobile game market.
China Unicom vice president Liu Yang announced the partnership with fellow state-run telecoms China Telecom and China Mobile during the country's Global Mobile Internet Conference, which is happening right now in Beijing.
“We are the best channel for distribution with a combined 310 million users of mobile games,” Yang reportedly said. “The China market for mobile games is fiercely competitive.”
Together the carriers plan to establish a panel of judges who will decide whether or not to accept interested developers into the new publishing initiative. The program involves promoting and marketing select games and providing developers with ways to analyze player data and charge players for their games -- which is especially valuable in the Chinese mobile market where piracy is common and there are many different billing channels, carrier SMS often being the most popular.
The carriers intend to publish games that will each reap at least 1 million yuan (or just over $160,000) in sales revenue, suggesting that the deal is at least partly motivated by China's booming mobile game market
. The lion's share of that growth has happened across a hodgepodge of local mobile app marketplaces, including popular mobile messaging platforms like WeChat.