Monday, May 17, 2010

Games Industry Prediction: China Overtakes West In AAA MMO Games In 5-10 Yrs.

Hello All,

For some my prediction may not be one at all due to the plethora of MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game titles the Chinese are churning out each year. However in my opinion that's just an attempt to throw wet paper at the wall to see what sticks. From such a business strategy the Chinese will surely profit in 5 to 10 years time learning from the growing pains to follow. On how to: design, build, maintain, and hopefully prosper the MMO genre game market.

The past five to ten years the other Asian countries of Japan & South Korea will inadvertently open the door for the Chinese and Indian game developers. Allowing them to penetrate into the Western consumer pocketbooks. Notable success stories of Sony on the Japanese side if not other game companies such as Sega. Be it the video game console business or the MMO market with "Sony Online Entertainment". With South Korea's "NC Soft" in their line-up of MMO quality game titles.

Within the last five years or so Western game publishers have opened game studios be it in China or India respectively. Where the talent (labor) and costs of running a studio is cheap compared to the West. The quality of the staff is just as good if not superior in some respects. Consider the Chinese and Indian game studios are in the "training wheels period" learning what they can from their Western counter-parts. Expect all this to change within the next five years however as fledgling game developers start to launch in China & India.

One of the undercurrents I make such a prediction is the Chinese in particular will revolutionize group / population game dynamics and structures. The West has approached the player mentality of game design in a mindset of the rugged individualistic personal hero / heroine. The Chinese due to real factors of population densities in their country with a billion plus citizens. Will usher forth key group / niche game play for the masses in MMO game genre. The dynamics of such game design will be from the back end infrastructure down to how game play will effect groups of players in a structural form.

Already the Chinese game market has influenced the Western MMO market with the introduction of the F2P (Free to Play) business model. F2P in China was developed due to income restrictions and easy access to population density in the cities. The West's adoption hasn't been on the same grounds however as in the East. Here in North America it may have been because of the economic turmoil due to the "Great Recession". Although the transition has not been fully adopted offering a hold over voluntary game subscription business model. In order to garner access to better quality items and/or loot in game play. This is aside from the mirco-transaction item malls introduced as an e-commerce presence to the game in the F2P business model.

These 5 to 10 year range expect Chinese and Indian game developers to offer AAA MMO game titles to the West. The Indians will take they're cue from the Chinese in game design styles and methods in launching such enterprises. Such as the typical Chinese or Indian MMO game titles will be steeped in their own cultural mythology for themed game worlds. So expect High Fantasy themes as the easy bet until they mature in styles. Where they will offer other themes be it science-fiction or historical periods when they have planted their roots firmly into the Western game markets.

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