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The Gaming Life
As the world began reflecting on the passing of 2016, Chinese gamers began focusing on the Golden Plume Awards, the country’s annual “Oscars of the Gaming Industry.” 360 Games walked away with the most-sought-after prize, the Most Influential Mobile Game Channel, and its individual games took two more awards.
More than a year has passed since Xu Yiran began leading the 360 Games team. Born in the early 1970s, Xu earned a double bachelor’s degree in precision instruments and automation from Tsing-hua University and an MBA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since graduation, he has worked in gaming for many Chinese and international companies including Sohu, Giant Interactive Group, Perfect World, and Electronic Arts.
Xu Yiran has wide-ranging interests, including more active hobbies, but as he puts it, “Games have captured most of my time and blend all my hobbies and expertise.”
More than two decades have passed since Xu became immersed in the gaming industry, during which time China’s role in the sector has ballooned at breakneck speed. In 1999, online games emerged along with the popularization of the internet. Around 2008, a boom of independently produced games was led by titles such as Dragon Oath and Jade Dynasty. Along with the tireless efforts and creativity of China’s game designers, the rapid growth in the number of internet users played the key role in facilitating the boom.
“China’s game market started by imitating output from places like South Korea,” explains Xu. “At the time, China’s games lagged far behind their foreign counterparts in fine arts and design. The gap has shrunk considerably since the turn of the century when we gradually began shifting to independent production.”
A Freshly-Paved Road
Since 2010, China’s gaming industry and market have developed rapidly. The Report on China’s Game Industry 2016, jointly compiled by China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association, Gammadata, and the International Data Corporation, was published at the end of 2016. According to the Report, revenues from gaming reached 165.57 billion yuan in 2016, up by 17.7 percent year-on-year. Online games independently developed by China earned 118.25 billion yuan, increasing by about 20 percent over the previous year, and revenues from overseas markets surpassed 7.2 billion yuan. Moreover, the marketing arm of China’s gaming industry has become more defined.