What trends do you currently see in China's gaming industry?
The gaming market is still growing and locally developed games will continue to grow, not just imported games from Europe and other Western companies. Local companies have a slight advantage because we can modify games according to consumer need based on our understanding of Chinese culture. We can offer more culture specific in-game events.
Foreign game companies such as Ubisoft and Electronic Arts have recently opened offices here in Shanghai and around China. What are your thoughts about this and the growing involvement of China in the global gaming market?
They see a potentially huge gaming market in China, which has developed very quickly. Casual games might be the next hot area so they will try to adapt these to the Chinese market.
What game(s) do you and your colleagues at The9 like to play?
Naturally, we enjoy playing WoW, but Warcraft 3 was also a big favorite. We also keep an eye on some local competitors. Many other popular MMOs, such as EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, and Guild Wars, are not yet available in China. Until they are, we'll keep playing WoW!
Is this negative public perception of gaming the reason why consoles, especially the Xbox, haven't sold well in China?
In China, PCs are more acceptable than consoles because they can be used to educate with other software applications. There is greater overall family value with a PC. This is why most families won't consider buying an Xbox or PS2 for their kids. China will need more time to mature in the console and handheld markets.
Comment: Full interview here.
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