Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next.
Your game already has 29 million players but you want to grow. So, what do you do? You follow Nixon’s lead and go to China.
German game publisher Bigpoint has partnered with Tencent to take Drakensang Online to the Chinese market. The aim is to take the fantasy online role-playing game with 29 million players to an even larger global market. Under the exclusive partnership, Hamburg-based Bigpoint will publish the game across Tencent’s huge game network in the mainland Chinese market. The deal shows the growing global nature of the gaming business. The online gaming market across Asia alone is expected to grow from $12.9 billion in 2013 to $30.4 billion in 2018, according to market reseacher IDC.
“With over 29 million [registered] players around the world, Drakensang is one of our most successful games to date. We have been very carefully preparing its launch in China, the biggest market in our industry, and are proud to announce today that we are working with the market leader to provide the best gaming experience to the Chinese gaming community,” said Bigpoint CEO Khaled Helioui in a statement. “Throughout our review process Tencent has consistently demonstrated a keen understanding of the genre and provided relevant feedback regarding optimizations for the Chinese community. This is our first step in China and we are looking forward to expanding our presence in this fascinating market.”
Drakensang Online is a fantasy role-playing game set in the world of Dracania. Players can become heroes such as a Ranger, Steam Mechanicus, Dragonknight, or Spellweaver. It’s a Diablo-like, focusing on fast combat. The game has more than 90 quests across more than 90 maps. It has four player-vs-player modes, and 800,000 battles are fought every month in Europe alone.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
Drakensang Online is already available in several Asian markets, including South Korea. Shenzhen, China-based Tencent has hundreds of millions of users for its social platforms such as QQ, Weixin, WeChat, Qzone, and QQ Game Platform. Tencent publishes games such as League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter in China.
Bigpoint makes browser-based, client, and mobile games with more than 350 million players in more than 200 countries. It has published 40 online games to date. The closely held company does not disclose its revenues or profits.
The deal is a first between a European online game company and Tencent. Raymond Gong, assistant general manager of online games at Tencent Games, said, “The exclusive publishing rights for Drakensang Online in Mainland China is one of our steps to expand our online games portfolio. Drakensang, a leading title from Bigpoint, is the perfect fit for Chinese gamers in terms of graphical quality, accessibility and game play. We plan to intensely work together with the experts at Bigpoint to successfully provide Drakensang to our local community.”
In an email, Bigpoint’s Helioui said, “It’s the most successful free-to-play hack and slash game in the West and it didn’t make sense that we did not target the largest free-to-play market in the world, China. We are cognizant that it is also one of the most difficult to penetrate and we did not underestimate the amount of development work and user access required to make our game successful there. In that regard we wanted to work with a dedicated partner which believed in the game and had a strong track record at publishing Western games in China. We are confident to have made the right decision with Tencent.”
He said the game has triple-A production values and gameplay depth, plus a huge amount of content. At the same time, he said Drakensang accessible. Bigpoint is going to extensively localize the game for the Chinese market as well, Helioui said.
“Unlike most hack-and-slash games in the market, we have also done a significant amount of work to reduce the size of the client — we have built a micro-client — to allow players with slower internet connections to still enjoy the game as it’s supposed to be played,” Helioui said.
Helioui said that Tencent stands out from its rivals in its ability to market a game and make it stand out from the pack.
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties