Sunday, November 14, 2010

China's game industry is bursting at the seams

I was reading a few articles earlier this morning about how much smaller the Chinese game industry is compared to the West's. This is changing. Soon we'll be seeing a monster of a game industry in China the likes of which hasn't been seen since the rise of electronic entertainment itself.

Like many industry's in China, growth is at 10% per year or better and outpacing many competitor's in nearly all areas. The Chinese game industry is one of the highest growth industries right now in the country. Kingsoft, one of China's big publisher and R&D investor, grew 100% last year alone. Network development costs, as well as huge salary increases, are all signs that China's game industry is growing just about as fast as it possibly can.

The burden to China's game industry right now is not a lack of monetary resources, but a lack of robust talent and expertise. Hiring is at a run-away pace and production is up in nearly every studio. They're all crying for more quality production materials, communications access, and talented employees able to get the job done.

What's made the tremendous growth especially painful is the constant shift in the attitude of the Chinese towards a certain genre of games. The last couple of years we saw interest in Massively Multiplayer Online games, specifically Role-Playing ones like World of Warcraft and Lineage 2. Now we're seeing a rather jarring shift toward more casual, browser-based games, especially as more and more Chinese gain access to the Internet from their homes instead of stuffy basement-like Internet cafes.

Even though it may seem at times that the Chinese game industry is building upon itself, it's still largely being driven by American and European companies. The Chinese game industry is projected to continue double-digit growth for the next several years. They are going to need more than ever our expertise and experience, just as much as we need them right now for raw material goods.

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