The current game market in China is said to be worth as much as 3 or 4 trillion yen. In order to break into that market, we at Active Gaming Media have Chinese staff set up in Shanghai. A few days ago, they came to Japan and gave a presentation about what’s going on in the market that everyone’s watching.
The presentation was filled with interesting information, both believable and a little surprising. The Shanghai team originally had an idol, a lawyer, and someone whose been in the Chinese game industry a long time, but now there’s an even more unique composition, as the idol is now a social media influencer. Hearing the thoughts of people from those various specialized fields was an experience that has to be shared.
Here are a few topics about the Chinese game market introduced in that presentation.
▶The Rise of Pearl River Delta
These days, there are over 5,000 game-related companies in China. Over 200 of those are huge, with over 500 employees. Until 15 years ago, 90% of the game market was made up of Shanghai companies, but now, apparently they only make up about 10%. Some leading cities in the market today include Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu. Pearl River Delta, home of Tencent and NetEase, has an especially big influence, according to our Shanghai team.
What is Pearl River Delta?
It’s the name of the region in the heart of the triangular-shaped expanse at the mouth of the Pearl River in China that connects Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Macau.
▶ There are no ratings in China
It’s just as the header says. So does that mean that any old game can get released in China? The answer is: no. Every game in China has to be suitable for all ages. The rules in China are very strict, and heavily restrict violence, nudity, as well as the rules you’d normally see in Japan, like rules against discrimination. What was interesting was they specify bones can’t be shown. Take for example a game that features zombies with missing limbs. Zombies themselves are fine, but showing the bone where the limb is gone isn’t allowed. There are a ton of these rules, but they’re also continuously changing, so a certain amount of care is required. (Apparently, there was a change to the rules just a few days before our team gave their presentation.)
▶ Games for girls are taking off
Games targeting girls have seen rapid growth over the past two years in China. There are a fair few of these games, but right now it seems like two are very popular. They’re both simulation games, one in the romance genre, the other involving fashion. Sales don’t lie, and these sales seem to be drastically rising. Our staff says this is because it’s become a huge market, and there still aren’t a ton of these types of games.
For those who want to try and enter the Chinese game market, you can ask us questions at [email protected]