Beijing-based Yodo1, which helps bring smartphone games and apps from around the world to the China market, has raised $2 million in seed funding from Chang You Fund. In February, Yodo1 announced it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from RTM Asia.
Yodo1 Raises $2 Million in Funding to Accelerate Distribution of Western iOS/Android Games to China’s Massive Smartphone Market
AAA Game Developer Robot Entertainment Taps Yodo1 to Adapt, Distribute, Monetize, and Protect the IP of Its Games in China
BEJING, CHINA — JUNE 28, 2012 – Yodo1, the only full-service publishing platform that helps Western game developers monetize the China smartphone market, today announces $2 million in seed funding from Chang You Fund to accelerate the distribution of Western iOS and Android mobile games in China. Yodo1 is also announcing its latest AAA game developer partnership with Robot Entertainment. Yodo1 is bringing its hit game “Hero Academy” to Chinese consumers, managing the entire market entry process, from localization and cultural adaptation of the game, to handling local licensing requirements, creating additional monetization mechanics, and zealously protecting the game’s IP in the country’s massive but often chaotic mobile marketplace.
According to a recent reports by Niko Partners and Analysis International, China’s gaming market of paying players is 180 million and the mobile gamers population is expected to grow 31.8% to 215 million by the end of 2012, and according to mobile analytics firm Flurry, China now leads the world in new iOS/Android phone activations. Currently, about 75% of Chinese smartphone users download games. However, it’s a difficult market to break into due to market fragmentation, cultural barriers, copycat competition, and other challenges. Yodo1 knows how to navigate all barriers to entry, and its $2 million in funding will give the company even greater firepower to help its Western partners dominate in the Chinese market.
• Cultural adaptation and local distribution services
• Integration with local monetization and payment gateways, ad networks, data/analytics and more
• China iOS and Android app store distribution, which also replaces any pirated and copy cat versions of partners’ games with the legitimate version
• Consumer reach through YoPing, Yodo1′s games review and recommendations website
• API platform to massively accelerate game integration into China’s leading social networks, payment gateways, mobile ad networks and analytics engines
• Proven track record for IP Protection and Asia market entry for over 60 Western companies
To launch Hero Academy to the Chinese market, Yodo1 introduced an entirely new cast to the turn-based, medieval-themed strategy game. Now along with the game’s Western-style fantasy characters, Chinese players can select a team featuring Shaolin monks, flying swordsmen, and other heroes more familiar to the local audience. Furthermore, Chinese gamers will be able to invite their friends on Sina Weibo and other leading Chinese social networks to play the China edition of Hero Academy.
The company was founded in late 2011 by a team of experienced entrepreneurs with over 20 years experience in digital media. Gamers at the core, its founders have helped over 60 western companies translate successful businesses in Western countries into successful businesses in Asia. With Yodo1, Chinese gamers can now enjoy the best Western game titles in a way that optimized to their play style and cultural preferences. Andy Lee, formerly managing director for Asia at top San Francisco-based social game developer Kabam, recently joined Yodo1 as an advisor, and will assist the company in bringing great Western games to China.
“Western smartphone games have huge potential in China, but most Western developers don’t know how to monetize this market,” said Henry Fong, CEO of Yodo1. “For example, Chinese gamers can spend a lot of money on virtual items and showcase these items to other players; that’s very different from the Western market where gamers may not want others to know they are spending to get an in-game advantage. Thriving in China’s mobile games industry requires local knowledge and experience, and a deep understanding of the Chinese culture and consumer behavior. We think Yodo1 is unique because we don’t just promote and publish, but also have a full studio of experienced mobile developers, creative artists and game designers that can quickly adapt Western games to the way that Chinese gamers prefer to play – and more importantly, prefer to pay.”
“Hero Academy gets more downloads in China than in any country except the US, even before Yodo1 helped localize it,” said Patrick Hudson, CEO of Robot Entertainment. “By adapting the game for Chinese players, we can deliver Hero Academy to a much larger audience in China. We chose Yodo1 for this work because they have a deep understanding of the Chinese gaming culture, are very trustworthy with our game design and IP, and have a full appreciation for what makes Hero Academy unique and fun.”
“China just became the biggest market for smartphone activations for both Android and iOS,” said Zhi Tan, Managing Partner of Chang You Fund and former CEO of FocusMedia, China’s largest outdoor advertising company. “The number of smartphone handset deployments is set to double in China this year, there is no other industry where the biggest market in the world is experiencing such rapid growth. Chinese mobile gamers demand great gaming experiences, so if the best from the West can successfully deploy in China, I am certain they will find great ROI. Yodo1 is the perfect partner to do just that.”
To learn more about Yodo1 and how to mobilize your games for China, please visit www.yodo1.com.
Yodo1 is the only trusted market entry specialist and full-service publishing platform helping Western game developers successfully gain traction in the China mobile games market. Staffed by a team of experienced mobile developers and Chinese market specialists, Yodo1 helps game developers quickly adapt, publish and monetize their games in China via the Yodo1 API platform that simplifies game localization, payment, ad network integration and promotions. Yodo1 has helped leading Western game developers successfully enter and grow in China, including Robot Entertainment. Founded in 2011, Yodo1 is based in Beijing. For more information, please visit www.yodo1.com.