Fast-growing start-up Kamcord, backed by international and Chinese internet giants including Tencent and Google Ventures, will invest heavily in China as the mainland sets to overtake the US as the world's largest mobile gaming market, said a top executive at the company.
The San Francisco-based mobile game recording and sharing start-up is one of the world's most popular online communities for mobile game players. It plans to set up an office in mainland China to tap gamers' fast and growing shift from the PC to mobile devices.
"We are investing heavily in China in 2015, along with Japan and Korea. These three countries make up 50 per cent of mobile gaming revenue," Richard Hu, who leads the firm's global expansion, told the South China Morning Post in a recent interview.
Kamcord plans to open a new position of country manager for mainland China and build a team around the person to strengthen the company's presence there and also help deal with the quirks that make China such a unique market: Android app store fragmentation and the proliferation of lower-end Android devices.
Kamcord counts mainland Chinese companies including iDreamsky, Triniti Interactive and Elex as partners as more and more Chinese companies try to expand overseas, though getting more people to use its technology in China was also an important goal, Hu said.
China will overtake the US as the world's largest mobile gaming market in 2016, according to a new white paper released in April by the Global Mobile Game Confederation, which predicted that revenue from mobile games in China will reach US$7.7 billion in 2016, compared to US$7.3 billion in the US.
Chinese growth will be driven by an increase in smartphone users and a rise in the number of paying gamers as the country becomes more affluent, the report said.
In 2014, there were a total of 383 million Chinese mobile gamers, compared to 137 million in the US. This will increase to 475 million and 157 million respectively in the next three years, according to GMGC.
Beijing-based consultancy iResearch said in a recent report that the rapid growth of mobile game has brought online game revenue to exceed 100 billion yuan for the first time last year.
"Mobile video consumption is on the rise in China, with user generated content being a major contributor to that. We think this bodes well for us in China because we think Chinese mobile gamers will be keen to upload and consume gameplay video content from mobile games," Hu said.
"It's an exciting market that we cannot afford to ignore," he said.