Beijing-based ELEX is a very successful provider of non-English social games. Their Chinese language farming game Happy Harvest has 2.5 million monthly active and almost 1 million daily active users. Apart from Facebook, ELEX publishes games on all major local platforms and -most recently- iOS and Android. We sat down with Tiffany Lu, ELEX’s vice president oversea business development to discuss the social networking landscape, Chinese users and ELEX’ new mobile games.
Social Games Observer: ELEX is the number one publisher on German social network VZnet, but these alternative social networks are constantly losing users to Facebook. How do you see the future of the social network landscape in Europe?
Tiffany Lu: ELEX and VZ have already built a very trustful and successful cooperation for the long term. For the future we want to deepen our relationship. Since December of last year VZ has carried out some measures to increase the active user number and retention – we think it works pretty well so far.
One the other hand, Facebook has already occupied the European market and it keeps growing. Not only in Europe, also in South America, Middle-East and even Asia.
SGO: Is the situation in Asia comparable to Europe?
Tiffany: Facebook has already occupied a very big part of the Asian market, especially in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan where we are also active. For example, our most popular social game Happy Harvest has 3 million monthly active users on Facebook in Taiwan.
While in the Chinese mainland market leaders are still the local SNS Qzone and Renren where ELEX also is among the top publishers.
SGO: You’re active around the globe – which country has the most avid social gamers?
Tiffany: The most hardcore social game players are in USA. But our 20 million users in non-English speaking countries in Latin America, Europe and Asian and Pacific regions are very active and qualitative users, too.
SGO: Can you tell us more about Chinese players and their preferences in games?
Tiffany: In comparison to American and European players Chinese players (including Taiwanese) like to purchase expendable luxury goods and strengthening items to help them win the competitions, while the European players purchase more collaborative items.
SGO: Recently you expanded into mobile games – what titles do you have out there so far?
Tiffany: Our first game Fishing Life is a wonderful fishing game designed for mobile devices ELEX. Players can click anywhere on the screen to launch a net for catching the fish, and different fish have their corresponding amounts of gold coin. Launch nets will consume gold, so how to balance the gold consumption and capture the fish becomes the difficult part of this game. We also launched Age of Empire an epic real-time strategy mobile game. Players will play the role of lord to manage a city’s territory, from infrastructure to trade, from production to processing, and use foreign affairs to make allies, develop strategies and tactics, command armies to conquer new territories. Our third game Viva Town is the most social simulation game in android market. You are the mayor here to plan and grown your own dreaming town.
Mobile is definitely the future for ELEX, we will invest more into this sector and keep developing more mobile games.