Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Mobile game-maker King is eyeing China after it partnered with Internet giant Tencent to bring a localized version of Candy Crush Saga, its flagship title, to the world’s largest mobile market.
There’s no definitive launch date for the Chinese version of Candy Crush — both companies only say it will arrive “soon” — but when it does land, it will be a major coup for Tencent which has secured a country exclusive. Chinese gamers on iOS or Android devices will need to visit Tencent’s Mobile QQ or its Weixin Game Center to get hold of the title.
That distribution is also likely to be hugely lucrative for King. Weixin (known internationally as WeChat) is China’s top mobile messaging app, but it is used for more than just communication: gaming is a huge part of the experience, and its Game Center clocked 570 million downloads within three months of its launch last year.
Rival chat app Line was the first to pioneer social gaming in Asia. Its game center has seen over 300 million downloads, and was responsible for 60 percent of the $338 million revenue that Line made in its last quarter of business.
King’s IPO last month didn’t go as well as the company might have planned, but it is focusing on growth this year and Asia in particular, having launched local versions of Candy Crush in Korea, Japan and now (soon) China.
Related: Localization alone isn’t enough for overseas game studios to succeed in China, says App Annie chief
Headline image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images
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