Last Month, Alibaba has announced that it will invest ¥1 billion ($145 million) to create a global distribution ecosystem for mobile games, perhaps the boldest step into the game business from the Chinese online retail giant to date.

At a press conference in Beijing yesterday, Simon Shi, president of Alibaba Games, detailed what the company has named the “Global Strategic Alliance of Game Distribution.” Essentially, it’s a series of partnerships with companies across the world: Mail.ru Group, TFJoy, Efun and ONEMT are those named so far.

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Assembling the mobile gaming market is more momentous

At the press conference in Beijing about this announcement, Simon Shi, president of Alibaba Games, detailed what the company has named the “Global Strategic Alliance of Game Distribution.”

Alibaba intends to assemble all kinds of gaming distributors to establish its own ecosystem of mobile gaming business like avengers assembling rather than create new mobile games.

It is more lucrative for these gaming distributors, especially for niche ones. Through Alibaba this well-known platform globally, all sorts of mobile gaming distributors will get more profits to join it.

The association also aims at bridging the mobile games distribution between China and Russia, Europe, Japan, Middle East and the US, and provides upgraded gaming experience to local users.

Tend to distribute Chinese games globally

With this new network, Alibaba will be able to distribute Chinese games globally, but this move also provides a potential new route into China for international developers, providing instant and estimable competition for companies like Tencent and NetEase.

Alibaba has been moving into the games business for several years already, mostly in the form of investments: $120 million in Kabam in July 2014, $10 million in Ouya in January 2015, leading a huge funding round for Magic Leap in February 2016, and bankrolling hundreds of eSports events across China since April 2016.

Government censors will by the trouble

Getting mobile games in front of players can be a challenge when it comes to China. Developers must seek approval from government censors before games can be published for users to download. Media and information remains tightly restricted, and the government routinely blocks news and social media sites online. Plus, games distributed to other countries need to be translated to the local language.

Use big data to make the games smarter

Alibaba is leading the advanced science and technology among the tech companies, so it is inevitable for it to apply its own progressive technology for its business. The company is planning to use big data to make smarter recommendations to users regarding what games to download. It’s also looking to get ahead in developing markets including India and Indonesia, where millions more are going online.

Localize foreign popular mobile games

Alibaba also is willing to import popular games oversea and localize them for Chinese market. Alibaba acquired the exclusive distribution rights for Travel Frog in mainland China this April.

The Chinese-language and localized version of the Japanese hit was then added to China’s top e-commerce site Taobao. The sale of Travel Frog’s official products from t-shirts, plush toys, key-chains to cushions surpassed RMB 100 million (around $14 million) around one month after the launch of the game. Other mini-games available on Taobao platform are casual games with simple gameplay, such as Gomoku and matching games.

How to bring your mobile game into Chinese gaming market

Due to the lucrative mobile gaming market, your mobile game business should take a shot, but you need to know how to market your product into Chinese market.

It has been approved by government

From July 2016, the Chinese government made it mandatory for every game to be mailed to the state administration of press, publication, radio, film and television for trial and review before it can be uploaded and marketed on any of Chinas app stores. The game must be loaded onto a smartphone and mailed to the board in order for them to check the quality and any copyright laws that may be being breached.

SEO on Baidu

The Chinese search online on Baidu for gaming information, you need to be visible in the natural search results. This can also be combined with advertising paid links and banners to reinforce your visibility and reputation.

Social Media

WeChat now has 1 billion active users and is important for the branding and reputation of your game, you need to be on WeChat to be visible. Users will search and expect to see an active official account that posts content/updates for users.

Weibo is the most open social network in China, users can see posts from anyone, this helps your content and game go viral if you can tap into this active community of 300 million users.

Gaming Forums

Gaming communities take to very active forums such as Baidu Tieba, Tianya or Douban to converse, these relevant and active topic threads can be tapped into by promoting your game and creating a ‘buzz’ here.

Quality Content

Quality Chinese content is the key. It’s important to understand the consumer and what gamers expect. They are very discerning in China and love technical news about the game’s development and the opportunity to collaborate in it’s development with open source gaming/trial versions etc. Promoting gamers to engage via your articles and press releases allows you to build a very loyal following.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency is specialized in the digital marketing in the Chinese market. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss any projects in China.