I Have a Question – Aerolite Tech Co., Ltd.
Aerolite is a game company based in Chongqing. Though small in scale, the company has an excellent performance in the field of cultural export. Today, CGGE has a chance to invite Mr. Li, the founder of the company, to talk about their games.
CGGE: Can you briefly introduce the development history of Aerolite Tech Co., Ltd. to readers?
Mr. Li: Hello everyone, I am glad to communicate with friends from CGGE. First, let me introduce my personal experiences. I have been in the game industry for about 15 years and have participated in plenty of game projects and CG animation productions. I founded Aerolite Tech Co., Ltd. in 2013, which was the second time that I had started a business. As I failed in my earlier entrepreneurial experience, I controlled the company’s development to be relatively stable.
After three years of accumulation, there are 50 people now on the R&D team, which had only four people initially. The core members have more than 10 years of experience in the game industry and have participated in many large-scale project development.
At present, the business area of Aerolite Tech is mainly game development and game operation. The types of games involved are VR online games, 3D mobile games, and casual games like chess and cards.
CGGE: The history of Aerolite Tech was not long, yet it has participated in the production of many excellent games. Can you tell us about your future development plan for the game market and the future business focus of Aerolite?
Mr. Li: So far, the domestic game market has formed a basic development pattern, yet domestic policies are still uncertain. Therefore, our development strategy in 2019 is to export, that is, to develop game products for global users. We are currently conducting business of casual game products in Southeast Asia, mainly in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. In the second half of the year, we will launch 3D mobile games developed for the European and American markets. In addition to these traditional casual games and 3D mobile games, we are also actively looking for opportunities in new game areas, such as the VR online games and blockchain chess games we are currently developing, which are all new attempts in the game field.
As the first large-scale multi-terminal VR online game in China, “Voyage Senki” developed by our company has launched the pre-emptive preview version on STEAM. The official version of the game is expected to start operation in April this year. The blockchain game platform “Currency Community” is currently being tested.
CGGE: Now we all know webgames and mobile games. Your business area also includes the blockchain game. What is its concept? What position does it occupy in the entire game market?
Mr. Li: The blockchain game is still in its infancy, and everyone is trying to incorporate it into the current game industry in various ways.
Our company’s products are mainly designed to end the unfair phenomena of cheating in chess games on the market. By introducing blockchain technology in chess games, these problems can be solved. The blockchain point-to-point decentralization make the game process transparent. Also,the audit after games prevent the results and other information being falsified. Besides, based on the consensus mechanism, the game rules can be disclosed.
“Currency Community” is a blockchain game platform independently researched and developed by our company. Currently in the test stage, it has opened a variety of gameplays such as Landlords, Black Jack and prize-winning quiz. Currently, the platform supports two virtual currencies – White Coin (XWC) and Ethereum (ETH). In the future, a variety of mainstream virtual currencies will be introduced, which enables players to conduct currency trading conveniently after the game is over.
CGGE: Regarding VR games, there was a time when the concept of VR was very popular. The year 2016 was even called the first year of the “VR Era”. However, we soon found that the concept of VR was no longer emphasized in the market, and the number of investors gradually decreased. Companies in this industry focus more on content and applications, not as eager and urgent as in the beginning. What is the view of Aerolite Tech for the application of VR games and its popularity in the future? Will it become another game field with potential for development after webpage games and mobile games? Does content precedes technology for VR games currently, or does the technology require more content to be commercialized? What is your opinion on this?
Mr. Li: Our company entered the field of VR games in 2015. When we came across VR devices, our game developers were really shocked and felt that this was a future trend; therefore we decided to find new opportunities in the VR industry. But during the development of VR projects, we soon realized that VR industry still had a long way to go.
First of all, the VR hardware device need to be considerably improved to meet the needs of the players; secondly, the small size of the VR game market leads to lack of content. In 2016, a large quantity of capital and R&D teams flooded into the VR industry, which led to the restlessness of the entire industry. Also, the large numbers of shoddy VR game contents on the market destroy the players’ game experience and affect the entire VR industry negatively. Therefore, personally, I think that the VR industry needs long time to improve in both hardware and content. The hardware especially needs fundamental improvements to meet the requirements of commercial operation.
Till 2019, domestic VR industry has had a history of three years. The core problem that restricts the development of the industry has still not been solved. However, from the long-term perspective of the development of the game or movie entertainment industry, an increasingly real entertainment experience is definitely the ultimate pursuit of players. Therefore, we are optimistic about the long-term development of VR games, and cautious on the short-term market.
CGGE: In the second half of last year, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China restarted the examination and approval of the game issue numbers; the issue numbers released this year can not meet the demand of the market. Affected by the examination of the game issues, the size of the online game market has shrinked. The situation this year is quite complicated. In such a market environment, what is Aerolite Tech’s countermeasures and future plans?
Mr. Li: Domestic policies have a great impact on the development of the game industry. In 2018, small- and medium-sized game companies were greatly influenced by the approval results, and it had caused many companies to close down. Therefore, we will be more cautious about the domestic market environment. Our strategy is to develop and expand products for global users, and apply for their issue numbers in China. At present, many domestic game development teams adopt this strategy. Many domestic R&D teams have done very well in Europe, Japan, and Korea.
CGGE: Your products include Thai Boding chess and cards, Baxian chess and cards and Three mahjiang. Are these games developed together with Southeast Asian partners? Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia are also actively developing the digital media industry. Compared with these competitors, what do you think are the advantages of domestic game industry? What are the similarities and differences between the industrial development these Southeast Asian countries and that of China? Will you have more opportunities for cooperation with them in the future?
Mr. Li: At present, we develop the chess and cards games as well as casual mobile games independently, find local partners in overseas operations to jointly carry out the localization operation of these products. Through some data analysis, we found that the consumption habits and capacity of game users in Southeast Asia are not bad, but their game industry is still falling behind of ours. Whether in operational philosophy or product maturity, we are ahead of local competitors. Moreover, our products have been mature and stable after being operated and adjusted in China. After incorporating local gameplay into them, we can start their local operations. Since our products are mainly developed for Chinese in Southeast Asia, there will be no major differences in culture. Some major festivals and operational activities are basically the same as those in China, such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Spring Festival. And the use of simplified Chinese characters in countries like Singapore and Malaysia has also saved us a lot of unnecessary troubles in our development work.
Viewing from the data analysis of products released in Southeast Asia region, users have a high level of retention, recharge and activity. Therefore, we are very confident in our Southeast Asian market and will gradually increase the intensity of product launch and operation in this area.
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