Moving Beyond the Neon Lights in Chinese Gaming

Illustration for article titled Moving Beyond the Neon Lights in Chinese Gaming

In China, it's the glitzy cities that get the attention — Shanghai in particular is the city that garners the most attention in scholarship (and frequently in the press). I was somewhat relieved to see that this is not confined merely to China specialists, but game industry watcher types as well — the most recent 'China Angle' column at Gamasutra looks at games outside of the publicized hotspots, where large portions of the user bases are found. Giant Interactive, developer of Zhengtu Online, recently purchased a stake in one of China's largest social networking sites, in an attempt to grow their market. But that's not the only way companies are trying to acquire ever greater number of players, oh no:

Giant Interactive made a significant splash in China's online gaming industry by pushing their game Zhengtu Online into the channel of second and third tier cities the way fast moving consumer goods company pushed food and nutritional products, using sales representatives at net cafes and shopping centers.

Their strategy was not surprising since Giant Interactive started as a nutritional supplement company prior to be a gaming powerhouse.

With the investment in, Giant will now continue to grow both their games and their reach deeper into hundreds and thousands of China's urban centers that most Americans have never heard of.

Oh, Giant — definitely one of my favorite companies to keep tabs on. I'm looking forward to seeing the directions the Chinese market takes over the next decade; maybe we'll even see WoW toppled.

The China Angle: Reaching Into The Heartland Of China [Gamasutra]

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China isn't exactly known for innovation in gaming ... consider the fact that Zuma is one of the most widely played games in the country. More popular? WoW and Guild Wars, two other games also not developed by Chinese companies. Interestingly, in regards to gaming, where Korea leads, China follows, so Blizzard is pretty much the dominant Company there.(once again, not a Chinese company)

I've participated in China's gaming "sub-culture", and I have to say it is extremely disappointing. With their record of horrible intellectual property rights, read copied games, and shoddy third party servers for MMO's and steam based games, China doesn't exactly seem poised to take the world by storm.(sorry) Older, slower hardware is also a problem for pc gaming in china, as it's difficult to build or even find a pc capable of running anything newer than CS 1.6. If you want to buy bootleg dvds, China is the best place on earth ... but gaming? Please ...