Online Game Marketing for Western Games in China

In the past few posts we’ve shared a lot of information regarding online gaming in China. Today we want to look at how you can use that information in order to market your game to the Chinese online gaming market. There is plenty of information available on what Chinese players want to play, how they like to pay, and what they are prepared to spend. How do you apply that to your own product in order to ensure your online game marketing is successful?

Meet the Chinese Online Gaming Demand

The demand for Chinese online games is changing. While massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) is still the biggest genre in the market, they are beginning to notice a gradual decline in the number of new gamers (source: Tech in Asia). Experts and trends forecast the next big market is social gaming. These types of games, distributed and played on social networks, are not only addictive and easily accessible; they are also targeting non-traditional gaming markets, such as women.

Adapt for the Chinese market

Not only is Chinese culture different to ours in the West, Chinese online games and gaming habits are different too. In the run up to Activision’s recent launch for Call of Duty Online in China, a lot of effort went in to the tutorial levels, as the game is more complex than popular Chinese First Person Shooters, such as Crossfire (source: Polygon). These kinds of adjustments help you remove any barriers that may put gamers off your game.

Endorsements in Online Game Marketing

Just because you might not have the budget for big-name stars to endorse your product doesn’t mean you can’t gain publicity with a well-known brand ambassador. Social media platforms are full of influencers – people who have built up large followings and become an authority on certain topics. Many of these will be gamers and bloggers. By reaching out to them and understanding their likes and needs, you can still secure yourself endorsement from trusted experts in the field who have a large audience.

Choose the Right Pricing Model

How you price your product will affect its popularity. There are several ways you can monetize Chinese online gaming. Currently the most popular is the Free-to-Play model, where users can access the game for no cost, but have the option to pay for in-game options, such as extra lives, special character costumes, or better weapons. The micro transaction system has proved highly lucrative for game publishers across the world.

Another option is to invite users to join a closed Beta version of the game. Supposedly for testing the game and receiving customer feedback, this exclusivity can generate a lot of excitement. It works so well that some games never come out of Beta modes.

Succeeding in the Chinese online gaming market is about understanding what works and what your target market likes. Once you know this information, online game marketing is about getting your game in front of the right audience. A simple task that takes a lot of work, and offers a lot of rewards.

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