For CEO of Kabam, maker of champions, work is just a game
It is rare to find any chief executive officer — let alone one leading a company with 800 employees— finding the time to spend three to four hours a day playing games. But Kevin Chou does.
Chou, CEO of Kabam Inc, a US mobile gaming developer and publisher, describes himself as a very “product-focused” leader and he is now bringing the same level of focus to the China market.
The San Francisco-based Kabam, which earlier this year officially launched its first game, Marvel Contest of Champions in China, is expected to bring another game to the country in Spring 2017.
The company recently announced in China that it has teamed up with Hasbro tomake a mobilegamebased on the Transformers franchise.
“Transformers are loved by consumers in China and around the world and we are thrilled to partner with Hasbro to bring the brand to life with this new mobile game,” said Chou.
He said China is on track to overtake theUnited States as the world’s biggest mobile gaming market and his company will make “a very big investment” to bring the games they make into the Chinese market.
As China becomes more affluent, its mobile gaming market is expected to surpass the US in the 2016 with an estimated annual revenue of $7.7 billion, thanks to an increasing number of smartphone users and a rising number of paying gamers. That’s according to a report jointly released by the Beijing-based Global Mobile Game Confederation, market research firm Newzoo and big data firm Talking Data.
Chou said on average Chinese gamers spend a little less than those in the West. But China’s top players are very rich, spending much more than those in Western countries.
As one of the very few American gaming companies that are very focused on investing in China, Chou said his company has a unique advantage as all of the company’s founders are Chinese American who can easily bridge the cultural gap in gaming.
To localize the company’s hit game Marvel Contest of Champions, which has made more than $300 million in the US, Kabam took some characters which are unknown by Chinese consumers out of the game.
Because the company is still on a learning curve in China, Chou admitted the revenue of the marvel game in China may not be able to surpass that of the US. “But we are confident we will have some good business results,” he said.