Plants vs Zombies reaps rich dividends for children

Updated: 2013-02-26 09:45

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

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Plants vs Zombies reaps rich dividends for children

The stories tell of the plants' secret weapons in series one, emphasizing respect for individuality and the spirit of teamwork. The zombies are portrayed as funny and clumsy.

In series two and three, released recently, the writers focus on promoting morality and the merits of strategy.

"Though the images are typically American, the soul of the book is rooted in Chinese reality and inspiring ideas for early education," says publisher Bai, who also wrote some of the stories.

"It showcases Chinese originality and creative thinking in publishing," says Li Baozhong, with the Chinese Publishers Association.

PopCap was closely involved with the publisher and writers in producing the series, and Bai says this was a defining factor in the success of the venture.

"I'm a publisher myself. Compared with previous cases of publishing under authorization, I really appreciate PopCap's innovative and pioneering ideas," Bai says.

Liu Kun, manager of Shanghai-based PopCap Greater China, says the company had the right to make its own decisions about producing and selling the books, and the US company approved of this.

"It's part of our company culture for branch companies to operate with relatively high independence so we can react quickly to changes," Liu says.

"We find the right partner, and only when each of us focuses on the thing we are good at, do we get the best results."

The success of the venture has influenced PopCap's global strategy. Zhao Xun, marketing and PR manager of PopCap Greater China, says its China venture inspired the US company to expand its licensing merchandise activities and it is considering creating storybooks internationally.

As a believer in localization, in May 2012, PopCap Greater China launched a Great Wall version of the game for the Chinese market, based on Emperor Qin Shihuang's tales.

"It was our first localized game," Liu says. So far, the version has elicited 50 million downloads, he says.

Journey to the West, the newest version, continues the success story and is a tribute to Chinese culture.

"The story contains vivid characters like the Monkey King. And the whole journey, full of twists and challenges, naturally fits the concepts of a game," Zhao says.

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Plants vs Zombies reaps rich dividends for children

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