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What Apps, Games and Stores do Chinese People Use? -Part II: Games

In this series I would introduce to you the most popular mobile Games and Apps in China. In Part one I would focus on Apps and Part two on Games, Part Three is for App Stores.

Junxue Li, Blogger

July 14, 2016

5 Min Read

     This is part two of the series. In my last post, I introduced the most popular Apps in China. Now this post is for mobile games. The Chinese gamer’s population is huge, every game type imaginable has astronomical number of players. Here I would only focus on a few top genres.

     The general situation of the Chinese mobile game market is like this: The hottest and most lucrative genre is MMO-RPG, there are countless big titles; And for other type of games, for example, Match 3, tower defense, card, the No.1 game tend to hold the monopoly position.    




    梦幻西游 (Journey to the West Fantasy) is a National Game, it belongs to an old franchise which enjoys great fan base.  梦幻西游 and many MMO-RPGs of the like bear a few common hallmarks: They are all well founded, with beautiful graphics; The themes are mostly Chinese mythology, Wuxia (Kong Fu master);

      And no matter what type of battle system the games adopt: JRPG arena, Diablo style, or 2D scroll action -they all feature the same game mechanisms: upgrading levels, collecting equipments, main line tasks, social and team tasks, which are so dear to Chinese hearts.

   梦幻西游 uses JRPG battle style, and streamlined with lots of auto-battle for mobile.

   And below are a few more hot MMO-RPGs of this month.



     开心消消乐(Happy Match)is another National Game, which is able to generate 100M Yuan (15M US dollars) revenue each month . For its making it couldn’t rank among the best Match 3 games in the world, for example Candy Crush series and Cookie Jam. But it provides an excellent example to illustrate how a mobile game could build its success on Tencent’s Wechat/QQ.

     In the west, mobile games depends much on Facebook to connect players and turn themselves viral. As I have introduced in my last article, the equivalent platform in China is Wechat/QQ. And any game relies heavily on friends circle must work closely with Tencent, for unlike Facebook, Tencent’s platforms are not opened to developers.

     No.2 Match 3 game in China is 宾果消消乐(Colorful Fruit Match), it lags behind No.1 a lot. And there’s no No.3 in China.

     Candy Crush Saga and Cookie Jam had entered China for a while, but couldn’t find them on the lead boards.


Running Games

     The most popular 2D running game is Tencent’s 天天酷跑(Everyday Cool Run). The game play feels good, but the social stuffs and equipment/pet upgrading system make the game quite complicated. A running game is supposed to be simple, you can pick&drop it fairly easy, right?

     The two most popular 3D running games are Subway Surf and Temple Run 2. You know they are excellent, for they have fluid control, and they add great contents regularly. There are scores of other Chinese 3D running games, but they find no place in the lead board. For Chinese developers generally are not good at catch the nuanced feeling which is essential to action games.


COC Type

     In China, you can imagine there are more imitations, copycats of this type of game than anywhere else. However, Clash of Clans still hold it’s No.1 place in China. And its success had brought Clash Royale tightly follow it on the lead board.



   Just like anywhere else in the world, Minecraft seems has invaded the phone/tablet of every kid here. Now they are crazy for the Story Mode.


Collecting Card Games

      War Craft franchise has great fan base in China, that no card games could contend with Hearthstone.

      And 刀塔传奇(Dot Arena)is a massively successful card game. Unlike Heathstone, you don’t play cards on table, instead fight with a team of heroes by auto-battle. What makes this game famous, perhaps is its developer’s long time lawsuit with Blizzard, over plagiarism of art works.


Deviant Games

      These games couldn’t be said massively successful in China, but their developers generally say that they have made unexpected sales record.


     Music, FPS, tower defense, poker


And About Pokemon GO

   A few years ago, almost every kid in affluent families would have a Game Boy or GB Color, and Pokemon is must have. You can see what Nintendo had established here, and what if it releases its mobile titles in China.

   If Pokemon GO is to land in China, it would have to abandon Google for Chinese map and social media partners. Can’t see what would happen. And I’d rather that it would never enter China, for it would be more stories of Pikachu chasing young man crashed by cars, or Kids fell into ditches.


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