Pokemon broke ground in February when it announced that the latest expansion in the franchise, Pokemon Sun and Moon, will be launched including traditional and simplified Chinese. However, they decided to drop the localized Cantonese names for the markets in favor of the traditional and simplified Chinese versions and the backlash has been surprising. Twenty people have protested outside of the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong so far, requesting that Pei-kaa-jau (Pikachu’s new name) should go back to the localized Cantonese version of Bei-kaa-chyu.
Virtual reality is in the news on a daily basis at this point. Here are two interesting stories in the Chinese media this week:
On the heels of Minecraft’s announcement last week that it is coming to China with NetEase, Digital Bros (505 Games) has announced that they will be bringing Terraria to China with iDreamsky. Terraria is a sandbox indie game very similar to Minecraft (along with another game, Roblox) and there may be plenty of room in that vast market to accommodate two or more sandbox games.
Gamelook reported that according to the most updated numbers published by Steamspy, Steam has more than 10 million activated users in China. US is still the largest market with 25 million users for Steam, followed by Russia, Germany, China and Brazil. Chinese users account for more than 5% of total users on Steam. In the US, the most owned game in terms of downloads/purchases is Team Fortress 2, and the most popular game played by more users is CS: GO. In China, the #1 position for both of these two KPIs is owned by Dota 2.
Aeria Games is one of several companies that brings games from Asia being to the West, primarily to Europe but also North America after translating the games to English. So far, the top games they’ve localized have included Aura Kingdom (developed in Taiwan) and Shaiya (developed in Japan).
The company has turned the deluge of Three-Kingdoms-based games to their advantage: “We launched a real-time strategy game called Dawn of Gods a few months ago from a Chinese developer. We change the art style and sometimes the storyline as well. This game had Asian-looking heroes and buildings with curved roofs. It had a Three Kingdoms of Chinese history. We changed it to focus on classic Greek, Nordic, and Egyptian mythology. We changed the gods and the look and feel. It’s been successful us.”
According to Nielsen, games account for 10% of our leisure time globally thanks to the rise of mobile devices and mobile gaming. The report notes that Chinese gamers prefer role-playing games (RPGs), which we have noted for many years, and that Chinese gamers have a strong preference for freemium titles over paid games.
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