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Report Reveals China-made Game Boom
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China's burgeoning online game-making sector saw a record US$35 million in export last year, according to a report released at an expo on digital products in Shanghai.

The fledging industry also expanded its share of the domestic market, accounting for 64.8 percent last year, 4.8 percentage points more than that of 2005 when China-made games overtook the foreign competition, said the report by the Publishers Association of China.

The fifth session of China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (Chinajoy), co-hosted by the State Press and Publication Administration (SPPA) and Shanghai Municipality this month underlined the growth of the new industry, especially in exports.

The Asian market has provided a lucrative stepping stone for China's online game makers, including doyen SNDA, Kingsoft and Perfect World.

China had a wealth of game material with its long history, plentiful legends and landscapes, and games with typical Chinese features had a high success rate in Asian markets, said Liu Binjie, head of the SPPA.

"Chinese games have bright export prospects because we have a host of competent programmers and graphic designers," said Lei Jun, CEO of Kingsoft. "The Chinese symbols and themes are really attracting foreigners."

Kingsoft, also known for its word processing program WPS, pioneered Chinese online games in the global market with "Swordsman", which has taken off in Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Experts attribute its hit to traditional Chinese attributes of chivalrous swordsmanship and superb martial arts.

The lesser known Snail Game followed with "Voyage Century" into Asia, Europe and North America, raking in sales of three million euros.

Last year, "Perfect World" entered Japan with a contract worth US$2 million, setting a record for China's online games sector.

"China is becoming the biggest market for online games, and is expected to become the focus of the international industry," said Liu Binjie.

Liu said Chinese game developers were engaging in global competition with "independent innovations".

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2007)

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