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Entering the Chinese Market: Start by Localizing Your Content

How important is China's games market?
  • In 2018, the global games industry raked in a total revenue of 137.9 billion U.S. dollars. China accounted for 28% of this figure.
  • China's massive player base and revenue size of 37.9 billion dollars made it the world's largest market for games in 2018.

(The data above has been taken from Newzoo's Global Games Market Report 2018.)

No game developer or publisher would want to pass on the opportunities presented by this market, given that China is home to such a large player base. Wiitrans has supported the Chinese localization of numerous AAA games, indie games and mobile games in various languages for publishing in China. As a game localization vendor in China, we would like to help overseas game companies decipher the China’s game market.   What are the features of Chinese players? Console gamers: These 40 million hardcore gamers are highly reliant on games, and are demanding when it comes to the gaming experience. They also have strong spending power. PC gamers: These 160 million gamers are mostly core gamers who have strong spending power and mainly buy games on Steam. Web gamers: Web gamers are mostly casual gamers. These 260 million gamers are generally whit-collar workers with a certain amount of spending power. Mobile Gamers: Mobile gamers are the largest player segment in China that has 550 million people. They are mostly casual gamers, many of whom are female and comprise a wide range of ages. They tend to spend shorter periods of time playing games at irregular intervals; game stickiness is low and players are not accustomed to spending on games, although a small percentage of them have strong spending power. Hundreds of thousands of dollars can be added for a single game, but the majorities are unwilling to spend on such purchases. It is interesting to note that the proportions of male and female players are almost half each, at 55.8% and 44.2%, respectively. This makes the Chinese market an extremely good target for game developers oriented to female players. Game companies in general may have to pay greater attention to the needs of female players in terms of game settings and game dialogue.   How can you create a hit game in China? First off, it has to be a good game :) We also have the following recommendations for you:
  1. Utilize social media to promote your game
Chinese consumers appear to be no less reliant on social media compared with consumers in the West. Treat Weibo as China's Facebook and Twitter; Bilibili and Douyu are marketing platforms much like YouTube and Twitch. In addition, marketing articles and videos must be localized into Chinese to capture the attention of Chinese players. Ubisoft sets a great example in this area. 2

(Marketing content published on Ubisoft's Weibo Official Account in Chinese.)

  1. Get your game localized into Chinese well
As mentioned earlier, Chinese players are getting used to spending on games, and Chinese gamers are demanding more of the gaming experience. Even if the content of a game is incredibly intriguing, this will not seal the deal if the game has not been localized into Chinese. Comments like the following can often be seen on game forums in China: 3 For example, the sales of Resident Evil 2 Remake were less than ideal when it was launched early this year. However, thanks to the high regard of Capcom for the strong spending power of Chinese gamers, a great deal of effort was put into localizing the game into Chinese, as well as dubbing in the language, which materialized in the form of remarkable sales. 4

(Game rankings on Steam in the week that Resident Evil 2 was released in China.)

To help overseas game developers expand into the Chinese games market, Wiitrans has native linguists who are gamers themselves. These game linguists take into consideration the cultural background, language, age groups and behavioral norms of the Chinese market when translating to best convey meaning. We also have highly experienced native dubbers for game and a professional LQA testing team to meet all of your game localization needs, helping game developers draw gamers and improve their gaming experience.