In another example of West meets East in global gaming, SGN and NetEase have teamed up to publish SGN’s hit mobile game Cookie Jam in China.
NetEase, a maker of online games that is shifting to mobile, will modify the game for the Chinese audience and publish it in mobile app stores in China. Cookie Jam has been a smash hit in the West on Facebook and mobile devices, and it is one of the reasons that SGN has grown to become the leading mobile puzzle game developer in the world, second only to Candy Crush Saga publisher King Digital Entertainment. SGN’s titles have been downloaded more than 500 million times, and Cookie Jam is at the top of the list.
Facebook named Cookie Jam as its top game of 2014 last week. Cookie Jam is a colorful “match-3” title where players match cookies and solve puzzles. Cookie Jam’s main rival, Candy Crush Saga, has nearly 500 million monthly active users, and it has already launched in China. The Chinese mobile game market is expected to grow 93 percent in 2014 to $2.9 billion.
Chris DeWolfe, the chief executive of SGN, told GamesBeat that the partners have been working together for about four months. SGN already updates Cookie Jam with new content every couple of weeks, and it will provide NetEase with those updates. NetEase will translate the game, localize it, and market it on both online and offline marketing channels in China.
“They’re make the appropriate customizations needed for the Chinese market,” DeWolfe said. “This is another sign that Western intellectual property can be valuable in markets around the world. So much capital is devoted to U.S. IP, and that IP is translating well to China.”
Other Western titles that have done well in China are Supercell’s Clash of Clans, Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone, Electronic Arts’ Plants vs. Zombies 2, and Imangi’s Temple Run.
Cookie Jam will launch in China in early 2015. It won’t be easy to beat Candy Crush Saga, which is already available in China. King Digital has nearly 500 million monthly active users, and much of that is due to the popularity of Candy Crush Saga.
“We are thrilled to bring SGN’s most popular mobile game to China, and we are confident it will resonate strongly with players in the region,” said William Ding, the CEO of NetEase, in a statement. “With fast-paced, fun gameplay and compelling characters, Cookie Jam has tremendous potential in China.”
DeWolfe said that SGN will launch several more titles in China in 2015. SGN is also adding offices in Berlin and Tokyo next year.