Takehito Soeda, the vice-chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Shanghai, explained how they had to start from zero, effectively founding an entire business after the Chinese Communist Party has lifted the console ban.
„This country has the single largest legal market in the world for software, mobile, computer and console gaming. Because console gaming was illegal for so long, though, we started operations with a market share that was practically zero. We had to develop entire networks from scratch. In essence, we went back to where we started and founded an entire business. In any other market, you can release a game with minimal interaction with censors. In China, it’s a challenge. It slows what we can bring to market, because we’re not just selling hardware, we’re selling content. We’re only able to get 30 or 40 games out a year, whereas everywhere else in the world, we can reliably release hundreds. We want more content available in the market. If the market grows, more games will be developed, and that in turn means more opportunities for us. China hasn’t had decades of console gaming like everywhere else in the world, so we need to work together to cultivate and grow the console gaming segment,” Soeda said in an interview with CEO Magazine.
The PlayStation 4 officially launched in 2015 in China (there was a grey market before it, though…), shortly after the ban was lifted. They want to boost their presence by working together with Chinese developers (and their games are shown off at events such as ChinaJoy) to make console gaming (foreign consoles, no less) getting accepted culturally in video gaming in China. Sony is playing the long game because of „This country has the single largest legal market in the world for software, mobile, computer and console gaming.”
So they bow to the Chinese censors to get more money out of the country.
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