Interview

WeChat heading for 30% market share, says Chukong

WeChat heading for 30% market share, says Chukong

It's already the fastest growing, most competitive, most fragmented and fastest changing mobile game market in the world.

But what will the year of the horse bring to the Chinese mobile game industry?

We've been asking some of the key players to give us their views on how the next 12 months will play out.

First up is Lei Zhang, the president and GM of Chukong Technologies' US operations.

Pocket Gamer: What were the key trends in the Chinese mobile games market last year?

Lei Zhang: There was explosive revenue growth - more than 30 games reached 10 million RMB monthly gross (around $1.5 million), while the total market size in 2013 reached 10 billion RMB ($1.5 billion)

Also, Tencent's WeChat gaming platform shows its power by dominating iOS top grossing chart.

Do you think app distribution will improve significantly in 2014?

To some degree. Though distribution channels will still be highly fragmented, some consolidation will reduce the number of (meaningful) channels developers/publishers have to deal with.

Alibaba entering app distribution game means that competition between distribution channels will likely bring more options and better business terms.

However, with the market getting more competitive with more content providers (e.g. traditional online game developers) entering the market, user acquisition will be at least equally competitive if not more.

What do you think will be the impact of WeChat?

WeChat will take about 30 percent of the entire market, in terms of revenue, download and players' total gaming time.

What remains to be seen is whether WeChat will open up to become a gaming platform for every developer, or remain as highly curated channel.

Are you worried that the market will become even competitive as more western games are released in China?

As stated above, the market will become more competitive in general, but not necessarily caused by more western games entering China.

The form of game design and monetization of several highest grossing genres (e.g. RPG, CCG, and strategy), has taken different turns in the East and West.

How important do you think international markets will be for your company?

Expansion in to international market has always been part of Chukong's core strategy.

In 2013 we achieved significant success in the Korean and Taiwanese markets. In 2014, we look forward to breakthrough in North America and Europe.

What's your biggest hope for 2014?

I believe a single game will reach 100 million RMB monthly ($15 million) in gross sales in 2014.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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