Writing as part of a larger Gamasutra feature
on what it takes to run a studio in Shanghai, Matt Orlich of Ant Hive Games suggests the market is still more stable than other locations.
"Recently, there have been some closings/downsizings of ex-pat lead studios in Shanghai," Orlich writes. "Obviously there are winners and losers in every business sector, and in the game industry we are no different. And with so many people throwing their hats into the ring these days, it seems we have an ever-increasing list of winners and losers."
Orlich compares the local market, which has exploded with studios in recent times, with overall global trends as he sees them.
"However, from what I've seen of recent carnage in the past couple years, there has been relatively less damage in Shanghai. Studios on the downtick seem to be primarily ones that focus on AAA development or servicing the AAA market, so when AAA went out of fashion with publishers and financiers, they took the hit along with the rest of the world."
According to Orlich, adaptability and cultural capital investment is the key to survival. "It seems to me that the ones that were able to survive were the ones that had put some heart and soul into their operations, building enough goodwill with both their markets and clients, and their local staff, to weather the recent storms."
"This solidarity, sense of purpose, and community is what I see as a central component to long term success of any business," he concludes.
The full feature, which goes into much greater depth on Orlich's experiences and also examines the current state of the Shanghai game development scene is live now on Gamasutra