"For our teams, I have to tell them, because they might follow a myth," he cautions. "For example, some of our developers might think they need to defeat or target a specific game. So from different dimensions they think about how to beat it." "But they might forget one point," he adds. "If the player is still playing that game, then there's no need for them to change to a new game. They're retaining that player because they've spent money there. In this Chinese market, if you played this game for over three months, especially for PC, the [player's] reason [for still playing] is the same - 'I've spent money on it and I have a circle of friends there.'" "Is it because people are really fond of it? I don't think so," he says. "Now it's also a chat tool for him, not just that it's a good game. It's difficult to wean those players, because the cost is too high for them to give up their items and time. So as a developer we need to focus on two groups of players - those who played the game but stopped, and those who have never played. This, again, means you need to pay attention to the demands, and trends, of the players. China has not excelled in this regard, he says. "We haven't innovated. We need to start doing big innovation, overwhelming innovation, so we can make our way out," he says. "We need to identify the needs of the player, and know their demands." Gamasutra and GDC China are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.
"As a developer we need to focus on two groups of players - those who played the game but stopped, and those who have never played."
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Chinese developers need to better identify the needs of their players
"We serve the customers, that's our common goal," says Jeff Lyndon, president and co-founder of Chinese mobile game publisher iDreamSky, at GDC China today.