China's 8th-largest game developer, Giant Interactive, is actively looking for a Korean mobile gaming company.
According to industry sources on June 15, Giant reportedly decided to buy and make an investment in a Korean small or medium-sized gaming company with the capability to develop RPG games, reviewing data about related game developers. A total of 10 Korean mobile gaming companies are said to be under consideration. The Chinese firm is planning to work on an M&A deal, make an investment in a Korean company, and jointly develop games.
Giant, which turns over 300 billion won (US$268 million) per year, is trying to change itself from an online gaming company to a mobile game developer. The Chinese company has started to introduce its own mobile games to the local market from last year, but those games haven't been that popular.
Experts are saying that Giant's decision is likely to further stimulate Tencent and other Chinese companies to purchase an ownership stake in Korean game developers. Tencent, one of China's largest Internet services companies, owns a 15.33 percent stake in PATI Games, a 25.3 percent stake in Netmarble, and an estimated 25 percent stake in 4:33 Creative Lab.
Meanwhile, industry analysts are pointing out that Chinese firms' moves to buy and make investments in Korean mobile gaming companies is likely to create either an opportunity or a crisis in the Korean gaming market. In other words, it will be possible for small and mid-sized mobile game developers in the country to mobilize the capital needed to develop games and secure an opportunity to enter the Chinese market. However, it will also be possible for Korean gaming companies to become subcontractors that only develop demanded games.