Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds Vie For Growing User Base In China

 Flying Fruit Goes Chinese As Smartphone Game Eyes Mainland Players

Angry Birds mooncakes are just one of the signs of the smart phone game's popularity in China. (Peony Jade)

Angry Birds mooncakes are just one of the signs of the smartphone game’s popularity in China. (Peony Jade)

Move over, Iron Man 3. Hollywood’s not the only one feeling the need to beef up the China content these days.

In an article posted earlier today, Bloomberg News wrote that Halfbrick Studios Pty, makers of the popular Fruit Ninja game, are planning to release a version specifically for the China market. Expected to debut within three months, the new game will include local backgrounds and the ability to slice the rampaging fruit with culturally specific weapons.

Although Fruit Ninja has a significant China user base – about 30 percent of its global market – the mainland offers significant growth potential. At 500 million downloads worldwide, Fruit Ninja has nowhere near the volume of its leading competitor, Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds, with 1.7 million.

As the Bloomberg article notes:

Halfbrick has its work cut out to match Rovio, which has made tailoring products for China a key strategy. Espoo, Finland based Rovio built an update of its “Angry Birds Seasons” game around China’s Moon Festival, sells Angry Birds-themed mooncakes during the holiday and publishes comic books that use its bird and pig characters to tell Chinese legends, according to Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vesterbacka.

Vesterbacka goes on to say that in rolling out its Moon Festival update of the Angry Birds Seasons game, it introduced an aspect of Chinese culture to users elsewhere in the world.

“This makes us one of the biggest exporters of Chinese culture,” Vesterbacka said. “Not only are we bringing Angry Birds to China, we are also bringing China to the world. How many companies can say that?”

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