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Cyber cafe waiter turned entrepreneur

Updated: 2013-12-26 08:15
By Meng Jing ( China Daily)

Cyber cafe waiter turned entrepreneur
Mobile game developers and publishers promote games at an international Internet exhibition in Nanting, Jiangsu province. The number of mobile gamers in China is expected to jump to 288 million in 2013 from 192 million in 2012. Provided to China Daily

iDreamsky founder sees strong future for publishing work of other gamers

Cyber cafe waiter turned entrepreneur

Jeff Lyndon, co-founder and executive vice-president of iDreamsky.

Jeff Lyndon was a hard-core video game player when he was a child. His mother used to lecture him whenever she saw him playing, asking: "Can you make a living by playing games?"

Although Lyndon regarded his childhood behavior as a "bad model", the 31-year-old Hong Kong-born man has indeed made a living in China's mobile gaming industry. In fact he does much better than merely making a living.

Lyndon is the co-founder and executive vice-president of Shenzhen-based iDreamsky, a Chinese game publisher that has established its leading position through publishing some of the West's best-known mobile games, such as Halfbrick's Fruit Ninja and Imangi's Temple Run series, in China.

Riding the wave of China's rapidly growing smartphone market, iDreamsky has nurtured Temple Run to the point that it has nearly 200 million gamers in China with about 7 million daily users. Fruit Ninja has accumulated even more gamers than Temple Run because it was brought to China earlier than the latter.

"They are practically national games in China," Lyndon said proudly. Statistics from China News Games Research Co showed that there were about 223 million mobile gamers in China as of the end of September.

Getting China's smartphone owners to play mobile games is easy, but to get them to pay for those games is tough. It is also extremely difficult for foreign game developers to fight against game cloners and navigate the labyrinth of different app stores in China. That is why some developers look for a publisher to help them run their games.

Unlike the majority of Chinese mobile game companies, which both develop and publish games, iDreamsky doesn't have a dual role. "We only publishes games and we don't make our own titles," Lyndon said, adding the strategy is one of the main reasons that helps the company succeed.

Cyber cafe waiter turned entrepreneur
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