Game publishers around the world have been working to crack into the Chinese market for years, and the interest is clearly mutual. According to an App Annie report, Chinese publishers have likewise been accelerating their overseas business with great success recently.
According to the market intelligence firm, over the first half of 2017, Chinese publishers more than doubled their revenue from international audiences compared to the first half of 2016 to more than $3 billion. That number includes publishers and their subsidiaries (both domestic and international), so it would have been considerably boosted by Tencent's acquisition of Clash of Clans developer Supercell from Japanese outfit SoftBank, which closed last October.
Much of the growth came from Chinese publishers' overseas subsidiaries. Without their contributions, Chinese mobile publishers' overseas revenues would have only be up 40% year-over-year for the first half. As for where these revenues are coming from, the three largest markets for Chinese publishers for the first half of 2017 were the US, Japan, and Taiwan.
"Traditionally, major game publishers in China have found success with their home audience by incorporating gameplay, visual and social elements that are targeted specifically towards the preferences of the domestic audience," App Annie's Donny Kristianto wrote. "Sometimes this could mean incorporating folk stories, history, myths and traditional characters that are not widely recognizable internationally. By contrast, China-headquartered publishers that are successful in outside markets tend to design games with visual styles and themes that have a wider appeal internationally, taking references from popular culture such as movies and television."