Highlights from Frank Yu’s presentation entitled, “The Coming Chinese Wave: History, Overview and Trends of Online Games in China.”
There are 3 waves of adoption, all of which still exist:
2000-2003: licensing / portals / korean-taiwanese games: subscription to local vendor
2003-2007: China MMORPGs / communities: free initially, monetization from avatars and virtual goods
2007-present: Web games / social networking sites: pre-paid cards, online/offline events and marketing, elements of gambling
And two final details I love:
Because consoles are banned, most of these games are PC-style games that can be played with one hand, freeing up the other one to smoke.
In second or third-tier cities, a fast connection is valued over hygiene: Toilets are dirty but they’re used to it. They can’t stand a slow connection though, because that would cut them out of their fun/leisure and communication channels.
Catch the slides for the presentation here, or watch a (noisy) recording of the talk here.