A golden age for gaming on the go
Updated: 2013-05-06 01:55
By Gao Yuan (China Daily)
Developers plan more games and different platforms as demand peaks
Protecting her carrot from the hordes of monsters who want to eat it is the foremost challenge for 24-year-old Hannah Liu, a financial magazine editor, as she wades her way through Carrot Fantasy, a popular tower defense game developed by a Chinese startup company, during the hour-long daily subway ride to her office in downtown Beijing.
Liu is just one of many who are playing Carrot Fantasy in China, with its download numbers on the Android operating system alone reaching 20 million by March, according to information provided by software company Qihoo 360 Technology Co.
Mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing sectors in China, with estimates indicating that the sector could clock up turnover in excess of 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) by 2015. That in turn, is sweet music for developers and mobile gaming software makers in China as statistics indicate that more than 32 percent of the total time spent by a consumer on mobile devices is for gaming purposes. Social networking apps came a close second at 24 percent in the market survey conducted by IT market research firm Flurry Analytics.
"The thriving mobile game sector has fueled the growth of China's smartphone market with mobile game users exceeding 250 million in the fourth quarter of last year," the Beijing-based Internet research company Analysys International said in a recent report.
Earlier this year, China overtook the United States as the world's biggest market for active Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, the Flurry study said. China had about 246 million smart interactive devices, including mobile phones and tablets, by the end of February, it said.
Smartphones based on the Android system continued to be the most used gaming devices in China, according to Analysys International.
Although gaming revenue on the Android platforms increased dramatically in 2012, it still lagged behind Apple Inc's iOS, its long-time competitor, in terms of revenue generating ability.
"The iOS is the most preferred platform for game developers because for every $1 earned on iOS, developers can expect to earn only about 24 cents on Android," said David Liu, founder and CEO of gaming company RedAtoms Inc.