Copycat games in China are a symptom of its fragmented app stores and the competitive nature of the country.
This is according to mobile monetisation platform Chartboost. The firm has released a Power-Up Report on the rising power of China in the mobile market.
One section of the report focuses in on copycat games to examine why they are popular in the region.
It begins by suggesting that the complexities of publishing games in the region delays certain games from launching in the region. This in turn leads to copycats being the first to launch, and therefore the only way to play the games.
There are some fans who will only stand by the original IP, however. These "er ci yuan" fans are fans primarily of Japanese culture and products, and will wait for the original IP to launch before playing the game.
Competition and fragmentation
Another aspect of copycat games is that they allow gamers to start over on their favourite games with a competitive edge. Chartboost points to schools in China teaching children to be competitive.
Having become experience at the original, players can then jump into a new game just like it. This gives them an advantage over new players, and allows them to become highly-ranked quite easily.
Finally, the fragmentation of the app stores is a major issue. Having so many app stores means having to petition between 60 and 70 app stores to remove clones.
These app stores aren't always inclined to remove the games either. Highly profitable games are protected by the stores, who don't see why they should sacrifice their profits for the original developer's game.
The full report also covers a history of the mobile gaming market in China and the effects of the latest regulations on publishing games in the region. It can be found on Chartboost's website.