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Tabikaeru: Journey Frog was a viral hit in China earlier this year.

China finally gets its own version of that hit Japanese frog game

But are people really playing anymore?

Video gaming
This article originally appeared on ABACUS
The cute traveling frog Tabikaeru is just like your moody pet cat: It leaves home whenever it wants, goes on an adventure for hours or days on end, and brings you back souvenirs you may (or may not) want.

That premise got millions of players in China hooked on the hit smartphone game earlier this year, even though it was only available in Japanese.

Now Alibaba has announced it is partnering with the game’s developer Hit-Point to launch a Chinese language version of Tabikaeru, which will include “localized content and surprises.” (Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)
Tabikaeru: Journey Frog was a viral hit in China earlier this year.

Alibaba’s gaming division says on its official Weibo page that the frog is prepared to explore the “beautiful mountains and rivers of China”.

But some don’t seem too keen on the idea.

One user commented, “The game’s not even hot anymore -- why bother.” Another said, “People aren’t really playing the game anymore.”
At the height of its popularity, Tabikaeru was the top most downloaded free app on Apple’s App Store in China. But right now, it’s not even among the top 100 -- and only ranks 17th among simulation games.
Tabikaeru totalled more than 3.6 million downloads in China on iOS and Android just two months after it launched.

Still, there are plenty of Weibo users who say they are excited about the prospects of the frog roaming the Great Wall of China or the West Lake in Hangzhou. And many are still actively sharing the status of their frogs and the “postcards” they received in the current version of the game.

“Still raising. Looking forward to a new postcard everyday. #JourneyFrog,” said one user.

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.