DOTA Legend steals Tencent's top grossing crown... but not for long

Weekly taster from the Middle Kingdom

DOTA Legend steals Tencent's top grossing crown... but not for long

Not only is China one of the largest markets for mobile gaming, it's also one of the most dynamic.

There's the broad shift from feature phones (and no phones at all) to a potentially billion-strong smartphone market.

More specifically for games, the PC client and browser market is transitioning to mobile, while the lack of Google Play as a distribution channel for Android content has resulted in an explosion in local app stores.

For these reasons, and more, the Chinese market is a heady and ever-changing mix, which is why PocketGamer.biz has hooked up with GameGrapes (aka Youxiputao) to bring you a weekly digest of the freshest and most tasty Chinese mobile gaming news.

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  • 4 Trumping the market

    According to data from Tongbu Game Center, the Chinese mobile game market is now dominated by card-battlers.

    During April 2014, 35 new games were release on the platform, of which 40 percent were card-battlers.

    RPGs made up 20 percent, with action-RPGs accounting for another 14 percent. Casual games also had a 14 percent share.

  • 3 Momo goes core

    It's a given that in the massively fragmented Chinese distribution market, there's always another platform for international observers find out about.

    One such is the Mono platform, which has over 100 million users and is heavily focused on a female audience, particularly building networks between people who don't otherwise know each other.

    But after launching casual games with titles such as Momo Pop Rabbit  and Momo Fight the Landlord,  it's now going more core, with Clash of Clans-clone Mono Craft, and now its first card-based games The God of Constellation.

  • 2 Alibaba gets serious with Dots

    The costs of being #1 is that everyone is out to take you down. On that basis, Tencent is picking up a lot of powerful competitors, including Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, which is trying to get into the mobile and mobile games market.

    One example of this is Alibaba is building up its presence, announcing its third internationally-developed title.

    Called Dots  - or Diandian as it will be called in China - it will be released exclusively on the Ali Game Centre channel.

    Adding some spice to the news is the rumour was that Dots was going to be released by Tencent, suggesting that Alibaba may have promised a better deal to get its hands on the game.

  • 1 DOTA Legends steals Tencent's top grossing crown

    As pointed out last week, Tencent dominates the Chinese mobile game markets, particularly in terms of the top grossing iOS chart - which because of Android fragmentation provide the most visible success metric.

    So it was something of a surprise when a Tencent-published game wasn't the #1 top grossing game - the first time this has happened in 2014.

    The insurgent was DOTA Legend,  which is developed by Lilith Games and published by Longtu Game.

    An action-RPG with card elements, DOTA Legend  is based on Valve's Defence of the Ancients,  and its rise to the top of the charts has been fuelled by regular in-game promotions. These include four days of double drop rates, the daily collection of advanced hero soul stones and stamina boosts.

    Yet, it wasn't long before Tencent regained its crown, with its published title Tiantian Fight  taking back the #1 top grossing position.

    DOTA Legend  fought back too, launching a deal that saw players who bought IAPs costing more than RMB 30 (around $5), receiving a bonus worth RMB 30.

    The game now has over 2 million daily active players, and is thought to be generating over $1 million a day.

    And Longtu has plenty more promotional activity planned, including cinema and billboard advertising. Yet the news that Valve is about to take legal action against Chinese companies which it believes have infringed its right over the DOTA  IP may prove a bigger challenge.

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