Monday, March 07, 2005

How WoW will do in China?

Pacific Epoch is such a great source for news on Chinese online games. My Chinese is bit rusty (honestly I can speak and read it), so the fact that they have most of their content in Chinese and give out translated versions for fee is bit of a downer. Anyway, they once again delivered a sound article about online games in China. This time they talked with 64 Chinese gamers in Shanghai to get some first hand market information. Shang Koo wrote the article and it is called “Pacific Epoch WoW Survey”.

Shang Koo states some basic features of Chinese online game market. First, games are not as familiar for Chinese gamers as they are for their Western counterparts, so games that are bit simpler, like 2D “Legend of Mir 2” are doing relatively well. Another point that Shang Koo makes is the somewhat outdated hardware that Chinese gamers are equipped with. It is difficult to run the graphically rich games, a fact that will narrow down the potential user base to well-developed areas.

In the analysis, it was suggested that Lineage II would be the biggest looser as the “World of Warcraft” is launched. Both games require high performance computers so lower level games would not be affected. LAN gamers will also see the “World of Warcraft” as an interesting game, since they are familiar with the game world. However, the analysis suggests, that many LAN players prefer RTS and FPS games and are not attracted to MMORPG. Final results indicate that WoW will not be as popular as hyped and the success that it will get comes from cannibalizing the existing MMORPGs and later on the success of the game will be dependent on hardware upgrades.

Good article, Google it while it still is available somewhere.
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