British-based digital games retailer Green Man Gaming has entered the Chinese market, by making their library available through China’s internet cafes.
In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Green Man Gaming CEO Paul Sulyok talked about how difficult it is to break into the Chinese market as a foreign company. This is particularly true for industries focused around creative endeavors such as video games, as China has one of the strictest censorship policies in the world.
“If you are interested in penetrating the Chinese market or the Southeast Asian markets, you have to understand what the social norms are and you have to understand how to play to them as well. There are some games that just smash it anyway, but the mechanics and structure of the game go above and beyond just localising it and translating it.
Yes, you have to do that, but there are some really good companies out there, some great localisation outfits — they can translate the thousands of words in your game, but it’s more than that. It’s the cultural approach, understanding what’s going to get traction and testing that market before you just jump in with both feet. Otherwise you’re just leaving it up to chance.”
Green Man Gaming has partnered with Chinese company Hangzhou ShunWang Technology who is responsible for providing a platform in a majority of all net cafes in Southeast Asia.
Partnering with Hangzhou ShunWang Technology allows Green Man Gaming to easily make their library available, while relying on their partner to ensure compliance with the Chinese government. This is aided in part by ShunWang being partially owned by the Chinese government.
According to Sulyok, selling on Green Man Gaming’s platform automatically makes a developer’s title available on ShunWang-operated internet cafes. However, what this means for titles with potentially objectionable themes who have no interest in selling to China is currently unknown.
Image: Green Man Gaming