Dialogue with CTO from ZEN-GAME: chess & cards Games Market has a Brilliant Future, the Key Is Interflow of Online and Offline
The 13th ChinaJoy was held in the Shanghai New International Expo Center from July 30th to August 2nd. Manufacturers from domestic and overseas companies were present with their important products. While many domestic manufacturers focused on domestic market share, ZEN-GAME’s image of concentrating on development and intensively working on chess & cards games looked prominent. “User-oriented, judgement by data, quick upgrades and smart innovation to provide excellent user experiences” is the development theory of ZEN-GAME. The purpose of ZEN-GAME is keep improving efficient creativity and providing users distinctive and first-class game-playing experiences. During ChinaJoy, Mr. Min Yang, CTO of ZEN-GAME accepted the interview of Joyyang.com and talked about his company’s product layout and future strategies.
Min Yang -- CTO of ZEN-GAME
Joyyang.com: ZEN-GAME was founded in July 2010. It’s been 5 years now. Could you please introduce ZEN-GAME and its products?
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 the early days was Dream Team, which was 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, mobile phone chess & cards business has grown rapidly. There are more than 40 mobile phone local chess & cards products, which is number one in China. We also launched fingertip chess & cards concourse that has reached 300 million users. The monthly turnover of single chess & cards is over 10 million. We also customized VIVO chess & cards Games Concourse for VIVO.
Joyyang.com: Since you had obtained such good performance, why did you transform to do mobile phone games R&D and operation? As I have known, chess & cards games have already been monopolized by some big game platforms. Under these circumstances, ZEN-GAME still chose chess & cards games. Could you please tell us the advantages ZEN-GAME has in this respect?
Min Yang: First, chess & cards fit for both the young and old. The market scale is big enough. Second, the ways of playing chess & cards games are relatively fixed, games experiences can meet the different demands of the players. Third, chess & cards games have a solid foundation. Many people show special preference to localized and popularized chess & cards. The traditional big chess & cards manufacturers don’t invest enough to localized markets. With mobile phones being more and more common, mobile phone chess & cards games will become more and more popular.
Min Yang: As to the advantages of ZEN-GAME, I’d like to state two points. First is our strength in chess & cards R&D and operation. Our core team members were the original set-up members of Tencent QQ game chess & cards concourse. They participated in establishing and operating the largest global recreational game community -- QQ game chess & cards concourse with 7 million people online at the same time. So we have the domestic top strength in chess & cards R&D and operation. Second is the large variety of our chess & cards games. The product experiences are excellent with different ways of playing and a vast number of players. For some single local chess & cards games, the number of players are in the top list domestically.
Joyyang.com: Nowadays, many gaming manufacturers are joining in mobile phone games. The competition is extremely intense. In 2015, mobile phone games have exploded so fiercely. Do you still think chess & cards games have a bright future?
Min Yang: Yes, I do think chess & cards have a bright future even in such a mobile phone games market. From my point of view, though competition of chess & cards gaming industry in China is fierce, localized chess & cards games are not developed well enough. In the past years, the chess & cards games market have been monopolized by big games platforms like Tencent and Ourgame. But they are mainly concerned about nationwide. They didn’t go to locals. A lot of second-level cities, even first-level cities, have space to be developed. ZEN-GAME has been working on developing these areas.
Joyyang.com: Since chess & cards games involves interactions and have some audience, has ZEN-GAME considered setting up your own game platform after a period of development? What plans do you have for the second half of 2015?
Min Yang: Our main aim is to establish a first-class light games platform and community. We have already launched a fingertip chess & cards concourse. Now we’ll continue to enrich and strengthen the community establishment via games content, interactions system between communities, players’ growth system, etc.
Min Yang: As to our plans for the second half of the year, first we’ll keep enriching game content, optimizing product experiences, enhancing R&D team building, and increasing the depth and width of technology accumulation. Second, we’ll build up a “cloud chess & cards” system step by step, with ZEN-GAME characteristics. This system is aimed at light games such as 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. This is a whole set of solution for chess & cards operating. In addition, we will try to expand the inter-flow between community applications and games so as to realize the perfect interaction between online and offline.
Joyyang.com: Could you please speak to how ZEN-GAME realizes the interaction between online and offline?
Min Yang: When players don’t know each other, we hope players can make friends with other players by LBS (Location Based Service). They first become friends online for the games and then become friends by offline activities such as cards-playing, gaming, friends-making and increased cohesion. If users know each other already, they can spread our games’ reputation and bring more friends online so they can play online games together.
Joyyang.com: You mentioned that ZEN-GAME will start international development step by step and try to establish a world-class gaming entertaining platform community. Could you please talk about ZEN-GAME’s global extension progress? Can you share some experiences and advice?
Min Yang: International development is one important step of overall development strategy of ZEN-GAME. Using our domestic operating mode as the example, we have a thorough knowledge of issuing mode and thus pave the road for international development. We have already deployed in overseas markets. ZEN-GAME founded a subsidiary in Hong Kong. The HK office’s main business is light games’ R&D and import of overseas light games. As to advice, there are a lot of good games overseas and a lot of game modes which we don’t have here in China. I think we can import some and maybe there will be some unexpected results.
Joyyang.com: A lot of people care about the development path of ZEN-GAME, Could you please reveal some 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 increase our investment in refined recreational fight games and TV games. When it’s time, we’ll develop overseas markets.
Joyyang.com: We saw some new CPs catching up from behind in this Chinajoy. ZEN-GAME can be called almost 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 have witnessed the 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 drive for quality has become higher and higher, and ZEN-GAME has kept transforming and changing. I believe ZEN-GAME will become the bellwether of 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.