Chinese web game developers on their mobile false start

Gamewave, Dovo, Youzu and Manyougu reveal their pain

Chinese web game developers on their mobile false start

The big ongoing transition in the Chinese game market is from web gaming to mobile gaming.

It's been an unsettling time for many developers, who have been making high profits from their web games, and hence who delayed entry into the mobile games market.

Yet, as those who have successfully made the transition point out - notably LineKong's Feng Wang - the opportunity for mobile game market share is now.

"We need to let PC games go," Wang told the GMGC 2014 audience during his keynote.

False start

Web game developers had their chance to reply, however, in a panel entitled 'The convergence of web and mobile games'.

Notable for the market is that while the web game market is growing 20 percent annually, the mobile games sector grew by over 150 percent in 2013. Mobile games accounted for around 13 percent of Chinese market value in 2013.

"Web games are very profitable so we misjudged mobile games and just copied our web games, which wasn't successful," revealed Haibo Song, CEO of Dovo Technologies. "But I think we can catch up very fast."

This false start was something that the entire panel spoke about.

"Web games remain very profitable", echoed Fumao Zhang, CEO of Manyougu.

"I think you can make great web games and great mobile games. So even if we have been a bit slow into mobile games, I don't worry that we can't make great mobile games.

New thinking required

Sean Fang, SVP at Youzu was more cautious, however.

"Publishing mobile games will be our priority because we had some failures in 2013. We are looking to mobile to speed our company growth," he said.

He further warned, "We can't just borrow elements from web games for mobile. You have to design totally new games. You can't copy successful elements from web games. Some PC developers are carrying a heavy legacy."

Hai Zhang, CEO of Gamewave Interactive agreed. "We need to change our concept of operation from web to mobile," he said.

And interestingly, none of the four companies expected that mobile games would generate a majority of their revenues.

Manyougu and Youzu hoped mobile could grow into 50 percent of their company revenues, but Dovo and Gamewave thought that web games would always be their priority.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at 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.