The mobile gaming industry is growing exponentially year after year and according to research specialist Newzoo and its quarterly update on the global gaming market, the revenue from mobile games will reach upwards of $35 billion by 2017.
A lot of this growth, Newzoo’s report claims, is due to the explosive rate of smartphone adoption in emerging markets in Southeast Asia and China, which has seen the gaming industry in the region experience huge growth. The report goes on to state that between 2008 and 2013, gaming revenues in China more than quadrupled to reach RMB 83.2bn (USD $13.2bn).
Most regions with a strong game development industry often have trade associations, such as the Entertainment Software Association, which in America, acts as a sort of spokesperson for the industry. It also actively participates in organising events, building relationships with the gaming industries of other regions and serves as an intermediary between different members of the gaming ecosystem. These organsiations need not have any governmental ties nor should they be non-profit bodies.
China, unfortunately, has never had one. Till a little while ago that is and it is setting its sight on Southeast Asia.
Meet GMGC, (Global Mobile Game Confederation), a Beijing based body which, according to Maxim De Wit, Vice President of International, who spoke to e27 in an exclusive interview, serves to, “provide a platform for the mobile gaming ecosystem – not just developers and publishers but also operators, ad networks, payment solutions providers; the entire ecosystem.”
It has a membership network of over 230 CEOs and according to De Wit, “what we do for them is arrange personal business introductions, consultancy and organize executive trips. For example, in July this year we took a delegation of Chinese executives to Singapore for company visits.”
GMGC has for the last two years been organising China’s largest mobile gaming conference, Global Mobile Game Conference (GMGC) and this year marked its first foray out of China with the holding of the inaugural Mobile Games Asia Conference in Singapore.
GMGC was founded by GWC head, David Song, who also ran China’s Global Mobile Internet Conference, in 2012. According to De Wit, Song wanted to create a China centric gaming trade association after helping Rovio and Halfbrick studios launch Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, respectively in China. He found that there was no unified infrastructure in place for gaming in China and decided to go about creating one, forming GMGC.
It seems though, that Southeast Asia is a big market for GMGC with the Chinese organisation investing in Singapore based games development house, Inzen Studios and the hosting of the Mobile Games Asia in the city state. A second Mobile Games Asia Conference is scheduled to take place in Thailand in 2015. GMGC has been very vocal about this interest with De Wit saying that, “Southeast Asia has been a key region of interest for a number of our members, as well as for us. Southeast Asia is one of the next frontiers for the mobile gaming industry, and we want to be able to provide a platform to support that growth.”
GMGC also has plans to open up a Southeast Asian office but as of yet, it has declined to share where this office will be.
De Wit also feels that GMGC is uniquely suited to helping SEA-based game developers because SEA developers simply put do not have a large enough domestic market to rely on. He went on to add that, “the markets that comprise Southeast Asia are still very much in the development stage, in terms of mobile gaming. As such, they would have to treat the whole of Southeast Asia together as their home market. Another key challenge that we are seeing is getting investment. Raising investments in Southeast Asia is still not as easy for developers. ”