PC Gaming is undoubtedly the most popular form of gaming in China, especially as China’s gaming culture involves manic keyboard movements in internet cafes where PC gamers row up to immerse themselves in their favorite adventure and fantasy worlds. China’s favorite games continue to be largely role-playing, first-person shooting, and QQ intensive. TECHINASIA tweeks Tencent‘s June list of Top Online Games in China (omitting QQX5’s trial server, originally No. 10 on Tencent’s list), the top 10 are:
“1. League of Legends. 英雄联盟 (yīngxióng liánméng)
A DOTA-style competitive online game that has been immensely popular worldwide.
2. DNF 地下城与勇士 (dìxià chéng yǔ yǒngshì) (also called Dungeon & Fighter, Dungeon Fighter Online, etc.).
A Korean-developed beat-’em-up game that’s pretty old (released back in 2005) but still very popular in China.
3. CrossFire. 穿越火线 (chuānyuè huǒxiàn)
China’s version of Counter-Strike (a tactical first-person shooter), another oldie-but-goodie that was actually developed by Korean devs SmileGate and released in 2007.
4. QQ Speed. QQ飞车 (QQ fēichē)
A 2008 racer developed and released by — no big surprise here — Tencent Games.
5. QQ X5* QQ炫舞 (QQ xuàn wǔ).
A casual dance game also first released by Tencent in 2008.
6. Dream of the Three Kingdoms 梦三国 (mèng sānguó).
A fantasy battle game developed by Hangzhou-based Electric Soul and released in 2009.
7. AgainstWar 逆战 (nì zhàn).
A Tencent-developed online first-person shooter first released in 2011.
8. NBA2KOL. As you can probably guess, this is an online basketball game developed by 2K Sports.
9. Fantasy Journey to the West. 梦幻西游 (mènghuàn xīyóu)
A fantasy RPG developed by Netease and first released all the way back in 2003.
10. Counter-Strike Online. 反恐精英Online (Fǎnkǒng jīngyīng Online)
The original tactical first-person shooter, popular around the world and still played in China too. Developed by Valve and Nexon, originally released in 2008.”
World of Warcraft comes closely behind, almost making it into the Top 10.
Among the Top 30 there are a couple of Chinese local RPG games with traditional Chinese elements that are on the rise:
御龙在天 (Dragon in the Sky) is an online game developed by Tencent, a saga set during the period of Three Kingdoms.
A decade after its initial release, 大话西游 Online II (Westward Journey Online II) is till one of the most popular online games in China. The game is based on the classic Chinese novel 西游记 Journey to the West, and shares the same name as the immensely popular film trilogy 大话西游 Journey to the West.
The game 天龙八部 (Tian Long Ba Bu: Shen Bing Hai Yu) is based on the wuxia novel 天龙八部 (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils) by Jin Yong, where gamers role-play in the 江湖 jianghu (the world of martial artists).
The black horse 剑网3 (剑侠情缘网络版3, Swordsman III) was released by Kingsoft on June 8, and has already made it into top 30. This online game also combines the world of wuxia (martial arts fiction) with historical events, centered around the golden age and the decline of the Tang dynasty. Its first promotional video was about the An Lushan Rebellion, an incident that significantly weakened the dynasty.
Wuxia and mythologies have been the basis on which Chinese online games’ plots unwrap. While Chinese gamers are loyal fans of shooting games, Blizzard productions, as well as Diablo, online games developed by Chinese and other Asian companies with Chinese elements are increasingly sophisticated and localized, with more emphasis on graphics, the gaming experience, and creating worlds that resonate with Asian gamers’ cultural backgrounds.