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SAN FRANCISCO — Launching your mobile game in China could result in major user engagement. But it’s not as easy as clicking a button.

More than 250 app stores operate in China, with 30 billing systems in use, said Jeff Lyndon, the co-founder and executive vice president of mobile game publisher iDreamSky, today at the GamesBeat 2014 conference.

“You create a permutation of thousands of combinations,” Lyndon said. “We always kind of pride ourselves as the Switzerland in the Chinese mobile market, where we make sure that your app gets critical mass distribution.”

Working with a company like iDreamSky could help game developers pick up considerable adoption they would not otherwise receive, not only because of existing relationships but also because of less tangible factors. Small wonder that iDreamSky has found success in its launch on Nasdaq last month and increased the average monthly active user count of its mobile games from 56.7 million to 98.3 million, year over year, in the first quarter of this year.


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Among the firm’s strengths: the cultural knowledge it’s accumulated about the Chinese mobile game market.

With a casual game like Farmville, for example, righteously helping others with their harvests might not go over well.

“In China, it’s about you stealing your friends’ vegetables,” Lyndon said.

And with a romance game, Lyndon said, instead of crafting it around a main character searching for that one true love, it might be wiser to rejigger it to let players show off how many boyfriends or girlfriends they have before shipping it to Chinese mobile app stores.

“It’s about competition,” Lyndon said. “That’s the main difference between Chinese user behavior and Western user behavior.”

But over time, he said he wants to focus on additional geographies. Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan could be next, Lyndon said, in iDreamSky’s effort to be a sort of adviser for mobile game makers seeking successful expansion, not just marketing help.

“Now we call it more like post-production, just like the movie industry,” he said.

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