Cultural clashes are still holding back Chinese developers overseas

Companies should focus on quality over quantity, panel suggests

Cultural clashes are still holding back Chinese developers overseas

A panel of expert Chinese developers and publishers at ChinaJoy 2016 discussed at length best and worst practices for globalising a mobile games company.

Many Western and Eastern developers have often struggled to adapt to and crack the entire global market. This is despite some even having a runaway success closer to home.

Tyroo CEO Sid Puri said Chinese companies need understand the “cultural nuances” between different countries and regions if they want to stand a chance of success.

East versus West

Yodo1 VP Vincent Diao said that the easy option is to simply publish iOS and Android games to all regions, but this isn’t true globalisation and ultimately won't work.

He added publishers need to ensure they hire the foreign expertise to solve problems with adapting a game to various markets.

As an example, Diao said one of the typical failings for Western publishers looking to promote their games in China is the art style, which typically doesn’t suit local tastes.

He suggested that having employees from diverse cultural backgrounds and local branches in different regions of the world is an ideal way to deal with globalisation and any cultural issues that could arise.

This makes it easier to understand the mentality of the players and make the appropriate design changes, he said.

Quality over quantity

Developers may often be tempted look at the largest global markets to crack first, unless they are in a soft-launch phase.

Diao warned Chinese companies however that developers should look a bit closer to home first, rather than go straight to the US.

He also criticised some Chinese developers for creating and releasing lots of games quickly.

Instead, Diao suggested they should take a leaf out of Supercell’s book and focus on one great product, even if it means killing lesser games that may damage the brand.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.