For the past several months we have been traveling to China to attend HTML5 game development related conferences where we have been invited to participate as speakers (GMGC, H5GDC, ChinaJoy, …). It has been an amazing experience to see how both the Chinese markets and developers are embracing HTML5 as a possible great way to drive gaming content in a different direction from the polluted and very complex to stand out of what are the so called “traditional” native content stores (iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, …). We have and still are learning a lot about this interesting new ecosystem that is being developed in China.
It is strange to have lived how the western countries have led the HTML5 game development for some years now, but there has not been a great reception from the markets. We are still using the same native markets as any other technology to build native games using HTML5. And do not get us wrong, it is one of the many beauties of HTML5: content can be delivered in many different forms, including native apps.
The great advantage from HTML5, apart from being cross-platform, is that it can provide new ways to access content on demand. This kind of possibilities work the best in the area of social networks, where engagement can be achieved in a much easier and organic way: just provide a link to some content and download/consume it right away. It is what we are doing in our Facebook or Twitter timeline’s in a daily basis with web content. Imagine being able to integrate the missing pieces of realtime communication with the other players that a social network provides, with monetization using some kind of virtual currency, native feature access, great performance, etc. from within the social network app itself.
All this is what is happening in China right now. Of course, there are plenty of differences between the Chinese market and its user base compared with western countries, but the idea is exactly the same. Chinese social networks (so called Super Apps in China) are very diverse and users are used to being active in more than one at the same time. These networks are great platforms for native game distribution nowadays. But the experience is disconnected as the user selects the game and has to go to a store to download the content and execute it as a separate app. With HTML5, Chinese super apps are able to engage the user inside the app and still provide all the mechanisms the social network is able to provide. This is the type of HTML5 content use case we at Ludei have been waiting for years but in the Western countries haven’t been successful yet for different reasons (the messaging app Kik has been the only significant example). So imagine our excitement when we started to travel to China to learn from what’s happening there.
It is very early still but China has established the steps in the right direction to make this whole HTML5 gaming ecosystem a reality. New technology companies have started to create great technology and tools, markets/super apps are embracing HTML5 and creating new sections for this type of content and users are starting to show that acquiring them can be much easier if the whole experience is integrated inside the social network and the content is virally distributed among players. The perfect storm.
This is a great opportunity for Ludei. China is a great believer in the benefits of HTML5 runtimes and Ludei has both the technology and the community to provide great content to the Chinese market. Runtimes are being integrated inside the Super Apps so the fragmentation, performance and feature problems of traditional webviews are eliminated to the benefit of the developers.
We have been in touch with all the players in the sector: developers, publishers, technology providers, markets, carriers, … and we are working hard to establish a great way to help all the great developers that have used Cocoon so far to publish their games (or any HTML5 game developer out there regardless if they haven’t used Ludei’s tools 😉 reach this very interesting but complex market in China. We have created a close relationship with the most important HTML5 game publishers in China and many developers are aware of Ludei and using Cocoon to publish their games already in the country. As a matter of fact, the game that has been awarded as the best HTML5 game in China has been developed by Wozlla, a company that has been using Cocoon for over 3 years now and with which we have a very close relationship.
We will make all the efforts possible to make the transition to this market as easy as possible for anyone that wants to leverage their content in the country of the Great Wall.
Exciting times for HTML5 games.