Video gaming

Arena battle, shoot ‘em ups and jumping pegs: what works for Chinese gamers

Tencent and NetEase have a combined 60 per cent share of China’s video games market, offering popular titles such as Honour of KingsOnmyojiKnives Out and Tiao yi tiao

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 8:49am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 9:02am

China, home to some of the world’s largest handset makers and about 1.4 billion mobile subscribers, has also become the world’s largest market for smartphone games – on both Android and Apple’s iOS platforms.

Tencent Holdings and NetEase, which offer a wide range of game titles and genres, have a combined 60 per cent share of the market, according to Jefferies equity analyst Karen Chan.

That is reflected in the top grossing smartphone games in both the Android and iOS platforms on the mainland as of January, data from research firm Newzoo showed.

Those include popular battle royale, shooting and racing games, fantasy role-playing and anime-style games, and even basic platform-jumping entertainment. 

Here are some of the most popular mobile games played in mainland China as of January.

1) Honour of Kings 

Tencent’s multiplayer online battle game is not only China’s most popular smartphone game, it is also the highest-grossing game in the world. It delivers similar gameplay as League of Legends, a desktop personal computer game earlier developed by Tencent, in which players take control of characters as they battle their enemies. Shenzhen-based Tencent launched last year a version of Honour of Kings for the western market, called Arena of Valour.

Here’s why Tencent’s Honour of Kings has 200 million players

2) Onmyoji 

The anime-style role-playing game was developed by Beijing-based NetEase. Set in ancient Japan’s Heian period, players battle against ghosts and monsters using swords and spells obtained by cards they collect. 

It was the second highest grossing Android game in January, behind Honour of Kings, according to Newzoo. 

3) Knives Out 

Also published by NetEase, this third-person shooting game involves 100 players in search of armour and weapons for use in a battle royale, in which the last man standing wins.

This addictive mobile game hooked 100 million users in just two weeks

4) Love and Producer 

The latest offering from PapeGames features a female protagonist: a television producer who must save her father’s film studio from bankruptcy by reviving a hit show.

This dating simulation game’s central character comes into contact with various men as she goes about her work. With romantic encounters involving four charismatic men of different personalities, this game has become a hit with China’s growing legion of women gamers.

China’s women gamers take centre-stage with ‘virtual boyfriend’ game Love and Producer

5) Tiao yi tiao 

The title, which roughly translates to “Jump Jump”, is part of the Mini Game application on Tencent’s WeChat, the biggest social network and messaging service in China. Players move a hopping black block from one platform to another by tapping the smartphone screen, scoring one point for each successful jump. It recorded as many as 170 million daily active users in January.