The mobile game “Honor of Kings” is hugely popular in China, where tens of millions play it every day. Its developers are trying to ‘up their game’ by bringing it to the U.S. But success in America’s competitive gaming landscape is far from guaranteed.
CGTN’s William Denselow reports.
Follow William Denselow on Twitter @willdenze
Luigino Gigante owns the Waypoint Cafe in New York, a hotspot for gamers in the city. As he tries out Arena of Valor, he admitted he can see why more than 200,000,000 people play the original version of it each month.
“It plays exactly like DOTA and League [of Legends], but it’s just easier to go so with League you normally need a full computer to play and everything,” he said.
Like Honor of Kings, the re-branded Arena of Valor is a battle between two teams of five players. The game has become immensely popular in Asia.
Chinese tech giant Tencent has done more than change the game’s name to help win over Americans.
“It has superheroes, the DC characters,” said Steven Asarch, a reporter for Player.One.
“That’s something we’ve never seen before in a game like this. And overall it’s just a simpler but still enjoyable experience.”
In China, the game is integrated with social media site WeChat. It’s seen as a big reason for its success.
But mobile gaming culture is different in the U.S. Gaming experts said mobile phones here aren’t used as gaming devices like they are in other parts of the world. Instead, they are seen more as a way of killing time. Like on New York’s subway during the commute to and from work.
That can dictate what types of games are a hit.
Andy Poplawski is working on his first major foray into the mobile gaming market. He said gamers in the U.S. tend to gravitate toward puzzles and idle clickers.
“They are very easy to play, one hand, one thumb,” he explained.
“You don’t have to kill yourself, you don’t have to hold your phone with two hands. You can play it going on the subway, there’s a lot of orientations you can end up on. Not all of them are easy to play with two hands.”
Faced with stiff competition from consoles like PlayStation and Xbox, Arena of Valor may have a solution: if you can’t beat them, join them. The game is set to be released on the portable Nintendo Switch device.
The gaming community believes that could be a potential game changer for its success in the U.S.
Dan Ye discusses China’s attempts to level-up its gaming exports
Every day, tens of millions in China play mobile game “Honor of Kings.” The game is a huge hit, and its developers are trying to level-up by bringing it to the U.S. But success in America’s competitive gaming landscape is far from guaranteed. Dan Ye, CEO of College Node, discusses the Chinese and American gaming markets with CGTN’s Elaine Reyes.