Min Yang from ZEN-GAME: Big Data Become Tools, Establish A Close Chess & Cards Community
ZEN-GAME was founded five years ago. It is the first manufacturer that released a real mobile phone chess & cards concourse. It has been a contracted partner of Tencent mobile phone chess & cards for two continuous years. At ChinaJoy, Mr. Min Yang, CTO of ZEN-GAME will introduce ZENGAME TO GameRes.com.
Min Yang -- CTO of ZEN-GAME
GameRes.com: ZEN-GAME was founded in 2010.It’s an international company focused on games R&D and operation. What milestones and achievements has ZEN-GAME had in the past five years? Could you share it with us?
Min Yang: ZEN-GAME was founded in 2010. At the beginning, its main business was website games R&D and operation with a variety of SLG, RPG, etc. We transformed to focus on mobile phone chess & cards in 2013. Our representative work in early time was Dream Team, a website game with a basketball theme. Tencent was the sole agency. The highest monthly turnover was up to 20 million yuan. After two years development, the mobile phone chess & cards business has grown rapidly. There are more than 40 mobile phone local chess & cards products making us number one in China. We also launched fingertip chess & cards concourse whose user base has reached 300 million. The monthly turnover of single chess & cards is over 10 million. We also customized VIVO chess & cards Games Concourse for VIVO.
GameRes.com: Are there any new products to be launched this year? Could you reveal it to us a little bit?
Min Yang: We’ll launch products related to two aspects this year. One is we’ll keep enriching chess and localized chess & cards games, including GO, Chinese chess, Military chess, gobang, etc. At the same time, we’ll launch a product for social. Users from both online and offline will start interacting via this social product so as to increase user cohesiveness.
GameRes.com: ChinaJoy not only provides a platform to display products but also builds a communication bridge for those inside game industry and for players. What’s ZEN-GAME’s intention to attend CJ? What do you expect from CJ?
Min Yang:It’s our first time to attend CJ. I hope we can have more interactions with our peers and upstream and downstream companies so as to provide better services to our users by working with excellent channels, payment providers, tools providers and recreational games developers. In addition, local chess & cards have a lot of types but users are small crowds which can obviously be called the Long Tail. The return rate of input and output is low. To solve this problem, we have come up with Cloud chess & cards solution. We hope those who are devoted to develop and operate local chess & cards can know us and work with us so that we can have complementary advantages and expand developing and operating local chess & cards.
GameRes.com: How many products does ZEN-GAME have? Which types of games are more popular?
Min Yang: We have more than 40 games. The most popular games are Fight The Landlord and Majiang. Some localized games are popular too.
GameRes.com: When ZEN-GAME was first founded, its main business was website games R&D and operation. In 2013, the Company declared that its business will shift to operating mobile phone chess & cards games. It’s surprising. Isn’t it so, that many manufactures prefer to pursue serious games after they have accumulated strength? Why did ZEN-GAME decide to develop this kind of light game like chess & cards?
Min Yang: I think it’s because different companies have different aims. On one hand, it’s the industry trend from website games to mobile phone games, because mobile phones have occupied more and more users’ fragmented time. On the other hand, we think light games like chess & cards can bring excitement and happiness to users in their fragmented time, with the result of creating cohesiveness and keeping the user.
GameRes.com: More and more platforms are grabbing the cake of the chess & cards market. What do you think of the current chess & cards market? Can you talk about it?
Min Yang: The technology threshold of chess & cards is relatively low. So many companies are doing this. But there are few who are doing well. From my point of view, to do a good job in chess & cards, there is a lot of invisible homework to do. Most of the products in the current market are mainstream games like landlord fights and Texas Hold’em Poker. In fact, there is still a big market in China. That is the local chess & cards market. User demands haven’t been met. From the perspective of channels, the characters of chess & cards are obtaining user quantities and good cohesiveness. All app stores and mobile phone manufacturers need this business but they don’t have the time and energy to do it. So we focus on customizing every manufacturer’s own chess & cards concourse to help them maintain platform users’ activities.
GameRes.com: All kinds of chess & cards games platforms have occupied the chess & cards market in recent years. But ZEN-GAME’s products can still maintain high users’ cohesiveness and activities. How does ZEN-GAME’s products remain competitive?
Min Yang: There are two aspects. First, we take advantage of big data. We tag users by analyzing their behaviour and attributes data. When users play games, we recommend and guide them to products they might like according to different user tags. Thus, we can minimize bothering users and provide product services to them more precisely. Big data is one of our strengths. Second, we’ve built a lot of R&D and operation tools in the process of making chess & cards. It includes user end R&D tools, the server end deployment and disaster recovery system for 10 million users online at the same time, operation analyzing system for mass data, and a quality control system for real time games operating. With these tools, our games R&D and operation ability has been greatly increased.
GameRes.com: How’s ZEN-GAME’s games issuing going? Chess & cards games should have encountered some difficulties when issuing, especially games localization because rules are different in different areas.. How did ZEN-GAME solve this kind of problem like localization?
Min Yang: As I have said before, for local chess & cards, its characteristic is it has big user quantities, but every single game has a small crowd and is different. Every county and town has their own popular chess & cards, whose rules are different to the most common ones. The biggest difficulty is precisely launching and obtaining and satisfying the demands of localized small crowd. To launch precisely, we extract big data. For the demands of a small crowd, we come up with a solution for cloud chess & cards which integrates local operators who have knowledge of local demands, optimizes our resources and utilizes our complete set of cloud chess & cards R&D and operation system, and finally meets the individualized demands of local chess & cards users.
GameRes.com: Apart from localization, what other problems do you think you need solve when issuing? For example, the light games like chess & cards. Could you please share some experiences with us?
Min Yang: We have just started issuing. The daily active users are more than 1 million. We were confronted with huge geography problems when we were promoting. If we did operation an extensive way by issuing one game for users, the effect would be bad. We analyzed users’ behaviour and attributes, such as users’ origins, what operations they use, IP, mobile phone models, and introduce different games to different users. We found that if compared to the extensive operation, this promotion has increased the users’ preciseness by 5 to 10 times. For example, the retention under an extensive operation was about 10%. It can be increased to 40% by precise promotion.
GameRes.com: What’s ZEN-GAME’s road-map? Will it keep chess & cards R&D and operation as the important business? Do you have some new business plans?
Minyang: We’ll keep our direction of focusing on local chess & cards games R&D and operation. Chess & cards games are our penetration point. Therefore, we’ll form our own light games platform. Meanwhile, based on our community system, we encourage users online and offline to interact from all aspects and finally form a strong cohesive gaming community. Besides mobile phone chess & cards, we’ll enlarge our investment in refined recreational fight games and TV games. When it’s time, we’ll develop overseas markets.
GameRes.com: We saw some new CPs catching up from behind in this Chinajoy. ZEN-GAME can almost be called the oldest game manufacturer in China. How do you feel witnessing the industry’s development?
Min Yang: During these five years of ZEN-GAME’s growth, we’ve witnessed development and progress of many manufacturers and games. In the past five years, from website games to mobile phone games, from small works to big works, ZEN-GAME’s request for quality has become higher and higher, and ZEN-GAME has continued to transform and change. I believe ZEN-GAME will become the bellwether of a new generation of mobile phone chess & cards games and become the game community that’s favored by millions of players.
Joyyang.com: We appreciate your accepting our interview.
Min Yang: Thank you.