Gaming Market Differences: China and the West

As the video game industry booms in China, many Chinese developers are seeking to replicate their games’ success in Western markets. However, there are some fundamental cultural differences that make this transition precarious, especially if the developers assume that the Western and Chinese markets are identical.

Our experience in bringing Chinese games to the West has shown us some clear fundamental differences that we’d like to share with anyone who is looking to retain our services:

  1. While pay-to-win is an acceptable business model in the Chinese markets, Western markets don’t typically respond favorably to pay-to-win games; regardless of the medium. However, Mobile games seem to have the most leeway in this regard. But if your game is blatantly pay-to-win then don’t expect much in the Western market.
  2. Producing games or assets that appear to closely mimic other games or assets in the Western market is not recommended. The Western market is quick to point out similarities in both the game and its assets.
  3. When addressing a crisis or any other form of social media disruption in Western markets, ignoring the post won’t make it go away. Too often we’ve seen Chinese companies ignore or berate fans/concerned citizens on social media. This is not the way to sell a game in the Western market.

There are other differences between the two markets, but these stood out the most to us during our time working with Chinese game developers. It truly is fascinating to watch how different cultures react to different games and different profitability models for said games. We can help your game reach its highest potential at Vicarious PR.