The realities of the Chinese mobile market for western devs
"I’d say this year, we’re looking at eight to 30 percent of the market."
- iDreamSky co-founder Jeff Lyndon, on the potential for foreign-developed games in the Chinese smartphone market.
Thirty percent of the Chinese mobile market for Western-developed games? That sounds pretty good, right? The bad news: Finding success in China is not simple, even if your game is a hit in the West.
In a new interview with VentureBeat, iDreamSky co-founder Jeff Lyndon lays down some
interesting insights into the Chinese mobile market -- one that is increasingly lucrative
but also extremely difficult
for Western developers to enter.
His company helps games from Western studios reach Chinese audiences -- including such hits as Temple Run
, Subway Surfers
, and Fruit Ninja
One of the major pain points for the market is piracy, and another is its vast array of app stores -- over 200 relevant ones, Lyndon says. In fact, the two issues are connected, Lyndon argues: App stores that can't get versions of popular games will accept pirated copies, Lyndon says, just to make sure they have all of the hot titles.
This app store fragmentation also means that different players, with different preferences, frequent different stores. iDreamSky customizes the games it distributes in China to capitalize on that, he says. "Games that have more social features work better in the Tencent ecosystem," Lyndon says. "Recently we did an update for Baidu’s version of Subway Surfer
that specifically focuses on competition, the Baidu Championship Tournament."
You can read the rest of that interview
; Lyndon also shared his advice
for Western developers who hope to sell their mobile games in China with Gamasutra.