Digital Life Forum: Local game developers should partner bigger firms to expand in China

The results of the third Digital Life Awards, organised by Digital Life, were announced on Thursday, Feb 11, 2014, with Samsung being the big winner. The strategies of Singapore-based game development firms to penetrate the lucrative China marke
The results of the third Digital Life Awards, organised by Digital Life, were announced on Thursday, Feb 11, 2014, with Samsung being the big winner. The strategies of Singapore-based game development firms to penetrate the lucrative China market was among the topics discussed at The Straits Times Digital Life Forum on Tuesday morning. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

The strategies of Singapore-based game development firms to penetrate the lucrative China market was among the topics discussed at The Straits Times Digital Life Forum on Tuesday morning.

Panelists at the 2014 forum, held at the Shangri-La Hotel, said these game developers should consider partnering larger firms to market their games in the world's second largest economy.

Mr Roland Ong, chief executive of games publisher IAH Games, also noted that more opportunities are opening up in China due to a relaxation of rules on the sale of game consoles there.

But he said developers should go beyond merely translating text into Chinese and create culturally relevant games for the market.

Mr Ong said: "You have to immerse yourself in Chinese culture and understand how people play and pay for their games."

Mr Tan Sian Yue, founder of home-grown game developer Ratloop Asia, said that with the immense popularity of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, "there are many ways to get the word on your game out" for Singapore developers.

Firms with limited marketing funds should also tap gaming platforms that are not as saturated so that their games would not be crowded out by other titles, he added.