Annual Taipei game show targets China

Some of the 66 million Chinese gamers are willing to pay for perks

An annual show in Taipei this year will roll out games geared toward the fast-growing and potentially lucrative China online market, event organizers said on Wednesday.

The Taipei Game Show's 50 exhibitors, including Microsoft and Sony plus a contingent of local designers, will let an estimated 300,000 spectators test their skills on products not available yet for widespread consumer use, said event manager Sally Tsai with the sponsoring Taipei Computer Association.

A focus of the 2011 show for developers and players is China, where low rates and mobile phone access to online avatars have attracted millions of consumers to Internet gaming.

"They can start a game online then run to the subway and continue it on their mobile phones," said David Wolf, CEO of Wolf Group Asia, a technology consultancy in Beijing.

Gamers in China grew 33 percent to about 66 million, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported last year. Among the leading games are World of Warcraft and local inventions modeled on FarmVille. Chinese social media sites have developed their own games even as the government sounds an alarm.

The China market should appeal to overseas game makers as "hardcore" Chinese players are keen enough to drop money on client applications or other frills to enhance their experiences with role-playing games, said Shen Si, CEO of Beijing-based social game platform Papaya Mobile.

The Taipei show now in it's ninth year has already "become an increasingly important gateway to China," according to the event's official website. This year the show runs from Feb. 18-22.

Exhibitors will also come out with new motion games for Kinect, the organizer said, and expert Taiwan gamers may pick up hints at the event on how to win international competitions.

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Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
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