• News
  • People
  • Long Read
  • Opinion
  • Weekend Wrap


It’s game-on for MyGamez in China

After its success with Hill Climb Racing, Finnish games developer Fingersoft partnered up with MyGamez once again when it sought to take Benji Bananas to China.Fingersoft

A growing number of international games developers are lining up to access the lucrative Chinese market. Now they can boot up faster than the competition.

Since its release in 2012, Finnish developer Fingersoft’s Hill Climb Racing has become one of the most successful mobile games in the world. Not only have more than 400 million users traversed its various undulating surfaces, but the game has also managed to crack the fickle Chinese market. And it has done so in style, racking up over 50 million downloads in one year alone.

Thanks to MyGamez.

MyGamez is a Finnish-Chinese company that facilitates a smooth road for international game developers seeking to bring their titles to China. Given the prevalence of unforeseen hurdles that could potentially snag companies along the way, MyGamez has had no shortage of demand for its service.

“Together with my Chinese co-founder we are able to provide the partnership and communication interface and company culture that our Western partners are used to getting in Europe,” explains CEO Mikael Leinonen. “A lot of differences in business culture often cause problems in interaction, even when intentions are good. We definitely have the advantage of bridging the gap.”

Change is necessary

Aside from tiptoeing around cultural misunderstandings, there are a number of other factors to consider for developers. Firstly, the casual games market in China looks very favourably on uncomplicated gameplay, with titles containing little or no back-story proving to be very popular.

Once this box is checked, then its time to proceed to the next level, where some important adjustments are required.

“Changes to monetisation and design are needed, as most Western free-to-play games use both advertisement revenues and in-app purchases,” Leinonen says. “In the Chinese Android market you have to remove advertisements and often have to make the in-app purchase monetisation design more aggressive to lure consumers to spend more.”

This can often be the deciding factor whether developers can actually access the market. MyGamez reluctantly has to turn away certain games, if their core needs to be tweaked too drastically.

But, for those who pass this stage, the next step is clarifying what’s required of gamers.

“Chinese players are used to very comprehensive tutorials that walk them through the gameplay hand-in-hand,” Leinonen points out. “In the beginning there should be concrete steps to ‘press this’, ‘follow that’ and ‘click here to purchase’. You don’t really see this in Western games.”

Up to speed

MyGamez offers unparalleled security for its customers, with companies not required to hand over their game’s source code when the solution is being integrated. Another significant advantage Mygamez has over similar service providers is speed. Its single SDK model of billing means the game is live in all major Chinese Android stores as soon as one month after the localisation project has commenced.

“The publishing model we provide to foreign, non-Chinese companies is so much better than what our competitors offer,” Leinonen underlines. “Other companies need something more like four-to-eight months.”

Having already accumulated revenue of two million euros during its first year of operations, the team of 26 is now looking to expand its future even more rapidly.

Thus, MyGamez recently teamed up with China’s largest telecommunications provider, China Mobile, to launch the International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) programme in China.

This highly visible partnership also means that MyGamez gets the first look at games that apply for IMGA. Enabling them to spot the Next Big Thing before the rest of the crowd, the company is poised to swiftly start bringing in a lot of new games.

“We are in a position to quickly grow into one of the leading publishers in China,” Leinonen enthuses.

MyGamez CEO Mikael Leinonen and China Mobile gaming subsidiary Migu Interactive CEO Wang Gang signed the IMGA China cooperation agreement in Nanjing. Image: MyGamez
By: James O’Sullivan