Holly Liu, the co-founder of Kabam, a global interactive entertainment company, shares her views on how to expand into the global market at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Beijing on Friday.
- Choose the right intellectual property (IP)
IP is the lifeblood of the industry. IP rights are associated both with the tools used to develop games and the content of a game. Copyright safeguards the creative and artistic expression that goes into the software (the code), the artwork and the sounds in a game. If developers want to create a new work on the basis of an existing copyrighted work, then they must first secure the appropriate licenses from the copyright holders.
On one hand, the right IP should have many characters. Each character has their own story and their backgrounds are totally different. For example, we all like Fast & Furious because there are a lot of different storylines in the film.
On the other hand, the right IP should be global and it should be suitable for people from different countries. For example, Star Trek is very popular in western countries, but most people in China are not very familiar with it. It’s important to consider mainland China when we are talking about globalization.
- Choose the right game genres
Game developers should not only choose the right IP but also choose the right genres. There are huge differences between Chinese players and overseas players. According to research institution Game Industry’s report, simulation games are more popular in China, while action games are more popular in the US. Developers who want to expand into overseas markets should adapt to local conditions.
- Choose the right team
In my eyes, having the right team is the key to success. Gaming is part of the entertainment industry, so we rely largely on the ideas and creativity of our team members. We use three criteria to select our team members:
(1) Gaming is an industry that needs team members with expertise. Therefore, our team members must be professionals.
(2) We hope to see long-term development, therefore, good team spirit and career stability are important elements when we select our team members.
(3) People who understand the complexity of IP. A basic understanding of IP allows game developers to more effectively tackle the range of licensing issues arising across the value chain with licensors.
Kabam is an interactive entertainment company founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco. The company developed and published social games such as “Kingdoms of Camelot” and mobile games like “Star Wars: Uprising” and “Marvel: Contest of Champions”. Before expanding into gaming, Kabam established itself as a social app developer with more than 60 million users in entertainment and sports communities. Currently, the company has 6 offices across the world, with more than 700 employees.
(Top photo courtesy of GMIC)
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