The Development of Greater China’s Games Industry: From Copying to Imitation to Innovation

Akinori Nakamura, Hanna Elina Wirman

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The People’s Republic of China has become the largest digital game soft-ware market in the world. Yet, outside the Chinese game industry itself, very little is known about the local development scene. In this chapter, we approach Chinese regions’ game industry from both a historical and an analytical perspective, particularly by examining how game developers in the PRC, Taiwan, and Hong Kong came to learn game development through copying, imitation, and gradually moving to innovation. The chapter aims at explaining China’s game development history chronologically, starting from the end of the 1980s when Nintendo’s products entered China and pirated products overwhelmed the legally bound regular market until the emergence of indie studios in the 2010s.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGame Production Studies
EditorsOlli Sotamaa, Jan Svelch
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Publication dateMar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Games
  • Production
  • development
  • China
  • culture


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