(chinadaily.com.cn, 29 Jul, 2013) Kabam, a US-based free-to-play game provider, aims to expand and attract more players in China, especially in the mobile sector.
“We don’t think there is a bubble in China’s mobile gaming sector,” Michael Li, Kabam’s co-founder and general manager for China, said at a Beijing interview on Monday.
“Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen a big shift from Web games, social games to mobile games. The mobile gaming industry presents a growth rate that both traditional Web gaming and console gaming fail to reach,” Li said.
“China still has a long way to go for mobile gaming. The opportunity is huge,” he added.
Meanwhile, the country’s smartphone penetration rate remains small, he said.
China, with 1.18 billion mobile accounts as of June, only had 319 million 3G wireless network service subscribers. Most 2G network service users in China are still adopting feature phones.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Kabam is one of the fastest-growing companies in the world’s free-to-play market. The company generated revenue of $180 million last year, up 70 percent year-on-year.
It currently has seven games that gross more than $1 million a month. Kabam’s first mobile game -Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North- was the highest grossing app on Apple Inc’s iOS platform in 2012.
Currently, more than half of Kabam’s revenue comes from the North American market, but the company has not gained any revenue from Asia yet.
“Asia, including China, is the world’s biggest mobile gaming market. It is also a big untapped opportunity for us,” Li said. He is optimistic that Kabam’s revenue will get bigger in the region over the next few years.
In May, Kabam, together with Universal Pictures, launched a mobile game based on the movieFast & Furious 6, and China recorded No 2 game downloads across the world, behind only to the United States.
Kabam’s Beijing team, with about 120 staff, is developing a new mobile gameDragons of Atlantis: Heir of the Dragon, for global iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. The game is about to hit the App Store on Aug 1.