George Tsemberlis, Kapitall: China recently lifted a 13-year ban on imported game consoles. What does this mean for foreign developers?
This summer the Chinese government announced the end of the 2000 ban that kept foreign-made game consoles from being legally sold in the country.
(Read more from Kapitall: Next Gen Gaming with New Xbox One and PS4 Consoles)
While domestic-made consoles and illegal imports are easily found on the Chinese gray market, the Xbox One (MSFT) and PlayStation 4 (SNE) will be the first console generation in 13 years to challenge the $11 billion dollar a year Chinese gaming industry with the full support of its developers.Restrictions on communications and dealing with foreign businesses have fostered a truly unique gaming culture in China. PC games dominate the market share with the most popular genre being MMOs, digital CCGs and other free-to-play games. These genres are disproportionately popular in Asian countries, where gaming is more likely to occur in an internet café than at home. Some of the most successful Chinese games include:
- Long Jian 龍劍 (Dragon's Sword Online) and Fantasy Westward Journey 梦幻西游 by Netease Inc. (NTES)
- 天龙八部 (Eight Part Heavenly Dragon) by Changyou.com LTD (CYOU)
- 天龍八部 (Demi-gods and Semi-Devils) by Sohu.com Inc. (SOHU)
- Perfect World by Perfect World (PWRD)
- Million Arthur by Shanda Games LTD (GAME)
- ZT Online by Giant Interactive Group INC. (GA)