Chinese gaming industry is out to buy as much intellectual properties (IP) as they can buy. Starting from end of 2014, it either bought or made a developmental contract about 10 or so IPs regarding Korean and Japanese games. While there is an optimistic view about emergence of new opportunity as Korea, Japan, and China form gaming industry, there is also some that are worried about Korea and Japan becoming subordinates to China if they keep on letting Chinese gaming industry to buy their IPs.

According to Appannie, Shanda Games’ mobile game ‘Yeol Hyeol Jeon Gi’, which was made using IP of ‘Legend of Mir 2’, had the second best sales and most downloads in China.

After settling on top 5 and 6th place (Apple App Store Standard) right after its release, it became one of the best mobile games in short period of time. Due to this effect, stakes of Korean industries such as Wemade that hold publication rights of ‘Legend of Mir 2’ also went up as well.

Originator of Chinese mobile games using Korean IPs is ‘Jeon Min GiJeok’ that was moved to mobile using ‘Mu Online’. This game (Korean service name ‘Mu Origin’), which is at the 3rd place of sales in Korean Google Play, is made by a Chinese developer (Cheon Ma Si Gong) and a publisher (Kingnet). It made an average monthly sale of $26 million (30 billion KRW) just in first half of 2015 in China.

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<Yeol Hyeol Jeon Gi>

Chinese gaming industry expanded its range of collection of IPs even to original works after expanding it to Korean games. China’s Longtu Games obtained a mobile game global publication right of June comics ‘Yeol Hyeol Gang Ho’.

Longtu Games started developing ‘Yeol Hyeol Gang Ho Mobile Game’ and trying to enter global market starting from servicing China region in early 2016. As it is very popular IP in China, it is planning to increase possibility of success by working through original piece.

Chinese web game company called 37 Games bought Japan’s SNK Playmore in August for about $64 million (74 billion KRW). SNK Playmore has many IPs for popular games such as Metal Slug, King of Fighters, Samurai Spirits, and others. It is known that SNK will use these IPs to develop new games and other variety of businesses.

Many major Chinese publishers such as Tencent, CMGE, Chukong, and others showed variety of games based on Japan’s popular animations such as Naruto, Conan, One Piece, and others to public at ‘China Joy 2015’ Game Show that was recently held.

One Korean gaming company employee who attended this event evaluated that Chinese games’ qualities improved a lot compared to previous works as they used IPs that they formally obtained.

It is predicted that Chinese gaming industry will continue to collect many IPs for games. “As Chinese gaming market expands, its attempt to secure many IPs will be very competitive and fierce. This is definitely an opportunity for Korean businesses to enter China indirectly.” said Professor (Director of Korean Gaming Society) Lee Jae Hong of Soongsil University.

Korean gaming industry needs to develop new IPs and not just depend on current IPs for their businesses. “Although existing IPs will help industry temporarily, its limitation is also very clear. Korean gaming businesses need to make new IPs while putting strong self-efforts at the same time to help Korean gaming industry.” said Professor Lee.

Staff Reporter Kim, Siso |