Tagged: EA Shanghai

Contemporary gaming in China 101 pt.2: The existing irony in the Chinese gaming industry.

As people would make fun of, most of the living essentials around us are made in China, which makes perfect sense for Chinese consumers to purchase a can of Dr. Pepper, a pair of Levi’s Jeans or a HP Laptop. For Gaming consoles however, it’s another story. The Minister of Culture banned gaming consoles (xbox 360, PlayStations. Etc, and you won’t be surprised about where they were made) in China (Find out why gaming consoles are banned in China here). Since consoles are banned in China, it left us with seemly only PC as the gaming platform. As I mentioned in the last post, we hardly sale games in China.

What’s more ironic is that, not only the gaming consoles were made in China, the actual games, which are played by gamers globally, are starting bear the made in China label. Let’s take look at what the big-shot companies are doing with their Chinese branches to get an idea:

EA Shanghai

According to their website, it is said that this branch is focusing on the development of online games. Furthermore, with the Asian-Pacific headquarters of PopCap (the one that create Bejeweled) located in Shanghai 4 years ago, EA Shanghai is also distributing its effort in the social/mobile gaming segment.

EA Beijing

EA Beijing, along with its subsidiary Playfish Studio is focusing on social games.

We can infer that while regular games (video games and PC gaming softwares) are banned in China, mobile/social games are on their way to reach the peaks. Are there different standards?

Furthermore, on EA’s social media outreach in the Chinese Twitter – Weibo.com, not only did they promote their mobile/social games, they also provide news regarding their product in other markets (e.g. the latest Mass Effect trilogy pack). It seems pointless for them to promote such product to this audience group given that in the foreseeable future, such product would never be sold in China.

BUT, maybe, maybe it’s EA’s strategy, a strategy to create the demand for such product? If so this is a clever move but it will take a long long time, given the current game retailing situation in China.

Ubisoft Shanghai

Ubi Shanghai is said to be one of the largest game developing studio in China. It has participated in game developments since 2000. The games Ubi Shanghai developed include the late Rayman series and a large number of the Tom Clancy’s branded games.

Blizzard Shanghai

Mainly focusing on the maintenance of the MMO World of Warcraft in China.

Blizzard’s operation revealed another double standard in the Chinese gaming industry. Online games are not banned. Why? It’s hard to pirate an online game and online game brings continuous profits.

So this is it? while Chinese who works at Ubi are developing games that can never be played legally by Chinese gamers, the industry in China generates its revenue almost entirely on the online gaming segment? Besides, the market for offline-gamers is ignored. There are tons of gamers like me, who are not really fond of online games but shares a common passion on offline games. The revenue might not be our biggest concern, instead, online gamers get to enjoy what they like while we have nothing to play unless we choose play illegally.

This is ironic, and there is something wrong about the restrictions.