In the past two years, at least two parks for game industry have been founded in Nanjing – China (Nanjing) Games Valley and China Games & Digital Harbor; besides, an organization called “China Mobile Games Federation” was also established in Nanjing this year.
Despite all these, Nanjing is not a prosperous place of mobile games, game developers here are very few and not one of them is really famous. When I tried to interview some local developers last year, I only found about five companies, compared to hundreds in Chengdu and thousands in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Encouraged by booming mobile gaming in China during the past two years, Nanjing Government plays a significant role in founding the games bases in Nanjing. For example, about 200 mu of land was provided for the core promoter region of the China Games & Digital Harbor and 1000 mu of surrounding areas are reserved for future use; and China (Nanjing) Games Valley is also considered a key project by the local government, who vowed to “promote innovative capability of making games” and make the base “a state-level innovative games base with the most powerful demonstration effect, radiation force and driving force in China” in 3 to 5 years.
Apart from government support, Nanjing does have some advantages for developing games. Nanjing has a number of good universities, a guarantee for development talents, and game bases of the Three Operators – China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom are all located in Nanjing, convenient for publishing games through them.
But there are still some questions have yet to be answered. First, can “innovative capability” really be “promoted” given the fact that lack of innovation has bothered both animation industry and games industry in China for years? Second, a consensus in the industry is that a majority of mobile game developers do not make any profit in China today, the fickle industry is calming down, along with failure of a large number of developers, can the government-backed bases help? Third, even the Three Operators are facing great challenges. In the era of feature phones, the operators, especially China Mobile, controlled lifeblood of Chinese mobile game developers, but now, they’ve been largely replaced by App Store and many Android app stores in China.
The way to a new polar of Chinese mobile games for Nanjing is hard and rough.