The Chinese economy may have slowed with the recent financial recession, but, according to John Radoff’s blog, the Chinese online game market represents an increasingly attractive opportunity – there are more Internet users in China than the entire population of the U.S., and two-thirds of those users play some sort of online games. In a presentation entitled “Chasing China: The Next Mobile Gaming Frontier” at the Flash Gaming Summit, Chris Shen discusses the enormity of the Chinese mobile phone market, with 980 million users.
One of our portfolio companies, GameSalad, has taken note of this opportunity. GameSalad is a disruptive, new game creation platform that enables almost anyone to create games without requiring coding knowledge; it is currently the largest game creation tool for Apple’s iOS devices. A #1 iOS game and more than 60 Top 100 Games in Apple’s U.S. App Store have been created on GameSalad’s platform.
GameSalad recently entered into a partnership with Tencent (also known as QQ.com), which is a leading online community website & gaming platform in Mainland China. QQ has often been described as the “facebook of China,” and is the third largest Internet company in the world behind Google and Amazon. According to data in May 2010, QQ had 568.6 million user accounts.
In a quote for the GameSalad blog, Steve Felter, CEO of GameSalad noted, “China is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world and represents an incredible opportunity for mobile game developers…We are excited to introduce our platform to a whole new audience in China, while simultaneously providing access to the Chinese market for our existing top developers. With the support of Tencent, and the invaluable expertise and resources they bring, GameSalad will play a key role in growing the mobile games ecosystem in China.”
Partnering with QQ will give GameSalad a strong platform to connect with Chinese users, in a market that most U.S. companies have not navigated well due to cultural and regulatory factors. We have no doubt that this partnership between two leading companies will prove to be a successful venture.