At present, in the context of the global layout of Chinese game publishers, they have demonstrated their strong ability to dominate the global mobile game market, no matter from the research and development to the distribution of mobile games, or the quality and profit income of games. The success of these Chinese game publishers in mobile game distribution has led many European and American game publishers to join in and compete for the mobile gaming sector.

It is easy to see from the past data that at present, the competition pattern of the mobile game market is still very backward. Some large companies have started to invest in the mobile game market. We can see from the layout of the 3A giants Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard that they have strong IP advantages and are the largest mobile game market competitors of Chinese game publishers.

Leading Players Turn to Cross-platform Competition

In fact, due to the lack of European and American developers, competition, especially for top-tier products, is mainly concentrated in China, Japan and South Korea. With their numbers and history, Chinese manufacturers have an advantage over others, especially in terms of supply capacity for new mobile products, which basically remains at 2~3 times that of Japanese and Korean manufacturers combined.

Some of them chose other categories to avoid competing with leading manufacturers, including plug-in games, fusion games and other casual mobile games. Top publishers like Tencent and NetEase choose to publish games favored by more seasoned AAA players. Launched a series of games such as COD Mobile, APEX Mobile and Diablo: Immortal to generate profits globally.

At the same time, cross-platform products represented by Genshin Impact are helping Chinese manufacturers compete with PC and console platforms. Based on the technological accumulation and lucrative income brought about by development, more and more domestic publishers have begun to consider cross-platform skills as a necessary choice to improve quality and experience. In the short term, it can help them quickly enter the PC and console markets, thereby gaining more users. In the long run, this also paves the way for the incubation of more domestic 3A masterpieces.

It’s worth mentioning that Sony, which invested in miHoYo at the very beginning, has made a lot of money from the success of Genshin Impact. As Chinese companies try to achieve greater success across platforms, Sony believes that the change in attitude towards mobile games is also important for its future development.

Fierce Competition Among Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo

In August, Sony announced that it had established a PS Studio mobile division to operate separately from the business. This move is also seen as a clear signal of Sony’s formal participation in the mobile game market. Unlike Microsoft, Sony did not pursue an aggressive expansion strategy, opting instead to recruit more talent.

According to a report from mobilegamer, Sony has assembled an experienced mobile gaming team over the past 18 months. These senior employees come from Apple, Kabam, Meta, Tencent, Samsung, Zynga, etc. It is worth noting that in May of this year, PS head Jim Ryan stated that PS has a large number of unique first-party IPs that can be ported to smartphone platforms, and Sony is exploring this aspect of the mobile game market.

At the same time, Sony also announced the acquisition of Savage Game Studios at the end of August this year, the first mobile game studio to be acquired. In contrast, Microsoft’s enthusiasm for mobile games is of course more obvious. Microsoft has long claimed that one of the main goals in acquiring Activision Blizzard was to own the development team behind Candy Crush Saga developer King. Microsoft believes that Tencent is more competitive in the field of mobile games.

Coincidentally, Nintendo also sees mobile games as the best promotional channel to attract more players. On November 30, the ARPG Dragalia Lost developed by Nintendo and Cygames officially ended its operation. As a result, only five mobile games belonging to Nintendo are still in operation. Even though Fire Emblem Heroes crossed the $1 billion cumulative revenue mark in June, Nintendo’s mobile game development still appears to be underwhelming compared to the Switch franchise.

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are still investing in the growing mobile gaming industry, even as their philosophies remain divided. This shows that they are bound to make the industry more intense than ever, gaining more users for their platform.

Opportunities and Challenges Coexist

In addition to the three major host manufacturers, another phenomenon that cannot be ignored is that 3A major manufacturers in Europe and the United States have also accelerated their exploration of the mobile game market. For example, the Call of Duty: Warzone Jointly mobile game recently evaluated by GameLook is an important symbol of Activision Blizzard’s mobile game business. This star product, which allows three ace studios, Beenox, Activision Shanghai and Digital Legends, to participate in the development process, has exceeded 25 million people worldwide.

EA, an old competitor of Activision, also launched APEX Mobile in the first half of this year, which is also a star product with tens of millions of bookings. As for EA’s other blockbuster IP Battlefield mobile game adaptation, it is also expected to be launched this year.

Ubisoft also entered the FPS mobile game. Rainbow Six, developed by Ubisoft Studio, also conducted a B test this year. If there is no accident, it will not be too long before it officially meets the players.

In addition to cards, almost all kinds of leading mobile games can find their corresponding products on the host platform, especially on popular tracks such as FPS and MOBA. It is hard to avoid a head-on confrontation between leading game publishers in China and end game IP owners. However, for Chinese mobile game publishers, this does not mean that there are only challenges but no opportunities.


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