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Android Mobile Games Lack Innovation in China

At the tenth China Joy in Shanghai, mobile games drew a lot of attention from developers and platform providers. Providers tried to find the ideal teams and products, while developers sought effective operating platforms. Most of them focused on the Android operating system.

Gameloft was one such participant at China Joy, though the mobile game developer from France didn’t set up its own exhibition booth. Instead, the company chose to bond itself to its new cooperation partner UC.

Chen XunDa, Business President of Gameloft China, explained that, “there are not many mobile platforms with game operating experience; our main task is to find a suitable platform for our games.”

However, the chaotic situation in the domestic Android market presents game developers with many problems. There is no unified standard for Android, and the management is out of order; in addition, the skill levels of Android platforms vary. Therefore, Gameloft is rather careful when it comes to choosing a platform partner.

Lack of High-Quality Mobile Games in Domestic Android Market

Though China’s mobile Internet is growing fast, there is a desperate need for high-quality mobile games. However, few people are willing to pay for the games. According to a survey by research company Newzoo in May, American users pay five times for iOS games than Android games, and in Britain sixteen times. Though there is no data about the situation in China, it can be inferred that the outcome may not be so positive given that Chinese users haven’t yet formed mature consumer habits.

“Though there’s no huge bubble in the Android industry, a problem exists in innovation. Making fast money has been part of the main stream, which crowds out quality-based products,” says entrepreneur Wu Bin to TechWeb.

Ni XianLe, CEO of Feiliu, believes hardware is one of the many reasons that explain the lack of high-quality games for Android. “Many big games with high-quality cannot run on low-end Android platforms, and users won’t pay for those just so-so games. That’s why Android mobile games are struggling.” In addition, the payment channels for Android are much worse than that of iOS. Users often give up halfway when trying to pay for a game.

Wang Yone, CEO of DeNA China, stresses that the quality of games is fundamental to brand value. High-quality users and developers will be attracted to high-quality games. For teams from overseas, the urgent task is not to make profit, but to open the market and build their brands.

Although with many limitations, mobile games are expected to have a bright future.

During China Joy, the China Gaming Working Committee cooperated with IDC by publishing the China Game Industry Report. According to the report, there were 78 million mobile game users in the first half of 2012, a 70.9% increase from that of 2011. Additionally, this was expected to reach 98 million by the end of this year. Meanwhile, the income of China mobile game was 1.26 billion yuan, a 54.4% increase to that of 2011.

“I believe the situation for the Android platform will improve a lot with the hardware and the 3G network equipment. Low-quality products may be eliminated by the market, and it will be a matter of time before PC online game giants enter the mobile game industry. It will be a time for real excellent games.” Ni XianLe said.

Translated from the Chinese original by Stella Wang (Netease from TechWeb)

Edited by Matt Johnson

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