China: Green Light to 27 Global Gaming Titles

In a surprising move, the Chinese authorities have given the thumbs-up to 27 foreign video games, signifying the second wave of international games permitted into the nation since December. Powerhouses such as Tencent, NetEase, and Bilibili feature among the approved lineup, foreshadowing a significant surge in China’s mobile entertainment arena. The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) disclosed the list on Monday.

From Asia to Europe: An Assorted Collection

Asia: South Korea’s Netmarble offers “Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross,” while China’s own NetEase dishes out “Audition: Everybody Party.” Japan contributes seven games, including Cygames’ “Uma Musume: Pretty Derby,” localized by Bilibili. Five entries hail from South Korea.

Europe: Finland’s Metacore presents “Merge Mansion.”

Ascent in Asian Gaming Companies’ Shares

Stocks witnessed a considerable hike following the announcement, with Netmarble Corp (South Korea) leaping by 7% and Bilibili (Hong Kong) soaring by up to 9.1%. XD, iDreamSky Technology, and Devsisters Corp also enjoyed an upward trajectory.

China: Foreign Gaming Paradise?

Citi analysts deduce that the NPPA’s decision signals a supportive stance toward overseas game titles. They predict two or three more imported game batches in 2023, totaling 100-120 authorized games—an optimistic outlook for the foreign game market in China.

A Freeze Thawed: Post-2021 Licensing Landscape

China’s tech crackdown in 2021 reverberated throughout the video game industry, culminating in a nine-month licensing freeze. April 2022 saw a partial thaw, but foreign games remained locked out until December 2022. The NPPA’s recent move indicates further loosening of restrictions.

World of Warcraft: Mainland China’s Loss

December 2021 marked the end of “World of Warcraft” in mainland China, as talks crumbled between US publisher Blizzard and Chinese distributor NetEase. The game’s departure disappointed numerous fans.

Preemptive Strike: Tackling Gaming Addiction

China introduced measures to address severe gaming addiction cases, such as imposing playtime limits on minors. These actions align with the broader tech sector crackdown, as regulators seek to tighten their grip on online content and data privacy.

Foreign Developers: Hope on the Horizon

The approval of 27 foreign titles kindles hope for game developers striving to penetrate the Chinese market. As more batches of authorized games loom on the horizon, overseas companies may soon find their place in the world’s most expansive mobile entertainment market.

Foreign Gaming Companies: Strategies for Success in China

The approval of these 27 foreign games is just the beginning. To truly thrive in China’s vast and competitive mobile entertainment landscape, foreign developers need to adopt effective strategies that resonate with the local market.

Localization: The Key to Chinese Gamers’ Hearts

Localization goes beyond mere translation. It involves adapting every aspect of a game to fit the cultural, social, and linguistic norms of China. Developers must invest in understanding the target audience, their preferences, and expectations. By tailoring characters, storylines, and in-game events to Chinese tastes, foreign game developers can boost their chances of success in the market.

Partnerships: Collaborate with Local Giants

Teaming up with established Chinese companies can help foreign developers navigate complex regulations and distribution channels. Local partners can provide valuable insights into the market, ensuring compliance with government rules and offering support in promoting and distributing the games to Chinese players.

Engagement: Community Building and Player Retention

Creating a strong community around a game is essential in retaining players and fostering loyalty. In China, social media platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin are excellent channels to engage with players, share updates, and gather feedback. Regular in-game events, promotions, and collaborations with popular Chinese influencers can help maintain player interest and drive long-term success.

China’s Gaming Market: A Land of Opportunities

Despite the challenges posed by regulations and cultural differences, China’s gaming market offers a wealth of opportunities for foreign developers. By adopting a well-planned approach that emphasizes localization, partnerships, and community engagement, foreign gaming companies can carve out a niche in China’s thriving mobile entertainment sector and contribute to the vibrant global gaming ecosystem.