First made-in-China PS4 game to be released, and more is to come
KOI, the first Chinese-developed Play Station 4(PS4) game for Western markets will be released on April 19, said its publisher, Beijing-based Oasis games.
It came one year after the game console officially entered the country and three years after Sony launched it.
“This is such a significant event for us as a small studio,” said Li Zhe, founder and chief executive of the game’s developer, Tianjin-based Dotoyou Games. “There will be many more Chinese games to be featured on game consoles soon,” Li said.
KOI is an adventure game following the journey of a koi fish, which the player guides through traps, tainted water and mutated fish caused by pollution. According to Li, the game is inspired by an actual koi fish the company kept. “It died eventually because everyone is too busy to take care of it,” Li said. “We should have released the fish to the river [near us] but it is just too dirty,” he added.
Li said his partner at the studio, Zhou Quan, who lives at a building right by a “stinky” polluted river, first came up with the idea of the game.
KOI was originally created as a mobile game for mobile phones and was transformed into a PS4 game after the company won a game developer award organised by Sony last year.
“We are the first because our game is relatively short and took less time to develop,”added Li.
He said it was only possible for Chinese developers to make PS4 games with the help of Sony’s official developer equipments, which only became available last year when the game console officially entered the country.
He expects many more titles from China in the near future.
Li thinks the console gaming market is friendlier to small developers than mobile games because console gamers are willing to pay a higher price to buy while mobile games lure players with advertisements and make money through in-game purchases.
The company is developing a new title dedicated to console gaming at the moment.
Released in China last March, PS4 currently has less than 20 government-approved titles in the country which do not include popular titles such as God of War, Grand Theft Auto and the Call of Duty series.
Its main competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox One, entered the market six months earlier and has around 25 titles as of now.
Chinese research firm iResearch estimated the total revenue of the gaming industry in China to reach 54 billion yuan (US$8.3 billion) this year, but almost all of it comes from PC and mobile gaming.
KOI will be priced at US$9.99 at Sony’s online game store for North America. It is currently available at the Chinese store for 38 yuan.