The9 Game Zone to play host to 1,000 games before end of 2012, says VP Chris Shen

Western studios making mass move on China

The9 Game Zone to play host to 1,000 games before end of 2012, says VP Chris Shen
Chinese outfit The9 has predicted its social mobile platform Game Zone will top 1,000 titles before the end of 2012.

The9 Game Zone, which is powered by OpenFeint, launched almost a year ago and currently boasts a library of 685 games from a roster of 500 developers.

Impressively, The9 claims the platform has been double its users every months since launch, leading to the firm confidently predicting the number of developers supporting the platform will soon follow suit.

The power of three

It's no surprise The9 is keen to talk up its chances in the field: despite a net loss of $45.2 million in 2011, the company has dedicated 15 percent of its 1,000 strong workforce to its mobile division.

"It's a market with a lot of potential, but it's also very risky," explained mobile business unit VP Chris Shen.

"There are a lot of issues – many app stores, piracy, figuring out how to monetise a game. For western developers, it's important to have a partner like The9 to help provide these solutions."

Indeed, The9 Game Zone was pitched at launch as a streamlined route into the Chinese market for western developers. As such, appealing to the needs of developers in the US and Europe is key. 

Chen believes The9's in-game advertising platform Orange, as well as the hands-on approach it takes with the games in its library – half of which come from western studios, is particularly appealing to such outfits.

Speaking the same language

"We do the localisation, repackage the games, integrate the required SDKs, promote and market them," continued Shen.

"We work with developers case by case on how they can monetise in China and distribute them to more than 50 app stores."

The company typically splits revenue made from games on its network 50/50 with the developer, though bespoke deals can be signed depending on how many of the The9's services the studio utilises.

The9's drive to make a mark in mobile comes despite the fact Shen admits most of the company's revenue still come from its operations on PC.

[source: InsideMobileApps]

Fresh out of the packaging, Tom joins Pocket Gamer with a chip on his shoulder and a degree in Journalism. Naively, Tom believes there's a star-studded career in video games and has penned words across the internet in between praying to the almighty Nintendo gods.