Games developers are failing to take full advantage of China's huge market for multiplayer online games, according to analysts.
China-based research house Pacific Epoch believes that Western developers are producing games that do not appeal strongly enough to Chinese audiences.
Meanwhile, local software houses are churning out low quality games that grab only a small piece of the market and fade quickly.
"The barrier for Western massively multiplayer online role playing games [MMORPGs] in China's online game market is that they have too much role-play and not enough hack-and-slash," said Pacific Epoch analysts in a research report published last week.
"Korean MMORPGs like Legend of Mir 2 fit right into the Chinese mould and World of Warcraft is extremely popular in China because the game caters to hack-and-slash play just as much as role-play and exploration," said the analysts.
World of Warcraft has attracted millions of players in China, as have Legend of Mir and the Korean-developed Lineage series.
But only a handful of games have achieved this level of success over the past five years despite the huge and growing audience, suggesting that there is space in the market for more games like these.
Local developers, however, lack the skills and resources to take advantage of this opportunity.
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