China is one of the largest gaming markets in the world, second only to the United States in global revenue in 2019, according to research firm Newzoo. However, to publish a game in China, developers have to meet certain guidelines and undergo an approval process required by China’s State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP).
The process has proven difficult at times, even for major game publishers backed by international conglomerates. For smaller developers, the potentially lengthy procedure can be financially draining.
So how can independent game developers survive in China?
We spoke to indie developer Yang Geyilang, co-founder of Moyuwan Games, an independent studio known for producing the hit game Chinese Parents. Allowing players to emulate the experience of living in a Chinese household with parents obsessed with grades above everything else, the game became a surprise top-seller after its release on digital distribution platform Steam.
Yang discusses how he turned his lifelong love for gaming into a career. He also gives us insights about how the indie gaming scene in China has changed, and what developers should do if they’re looking to enter the gaming market.
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