Exclusive: Full-service Chinese publisher Yodo1 signs up Germany’s HandyGames

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Bejing-based mobile publisher Yodo1’s latest partner is HandyGames.

Yodo1 sets itself apart from other Chinese publishers by offering its partners a “full service” package, handling everything from localization to payment processing — i.e. negotiating China’s notoriously complicated and convoluted mobile app ecosystem.

Germany’s HandyGames meanwhile has released more than 150 mobile games, and has racked up a string of hits on Android with titles like Guns’n’Glory, Guns’n’Glory WW2 and Clouds & Sheep. Combined, those titles have been downloaded more than 7 million times, according to their Google Play app store listings.

Although the deal with Yodo1 is new, it’s not HandyGames’ first foray into the Chinese market. Our readers may remember that just over a year ago, the company had partnered up with GREE’s OpenFeint, which distributes games in China via Yodo1’s publishing rival The9.

Under the terms of the partnership, Yodo1 is distributing five HandyGames titles to 14 different third party Android App stores, the China Mobile app store and to several Android-based interactive TV platforms. Yodo1 is also handling the Chinese iOS versions of the games.

For HandyGames, Yodo1 is managing what it calls the “entire market entry process”, a procedure that includes adapting designs, mechanics and monetization options to make them more appealing to Chinese players, integration with Chinese ad networks and payment gateways, the handling of Chinese licensing agreements and promotion of the titles through its independent game review site Yoping.

Overall, the deal is similar to the one Yodo1 struck with Robot Entertainment when the companies partnered to create a new version of Hero Academy for the Chinese market. That effort was largely successful, and saw the new Chinese version of Hero Academy climb to the No. 9 spot on the free app chart and the No. 6 spot on the overall games chart in the Chinese App store.

The five games covered under the terms of the HandyGames deal will be out on both Android and iOS in China by the end of August.

Update: In the original version of this story, we reported HandyGames had previously partnered with The9 to distribute its games in China. The company was actually working with OpenFeint, which had a separate distribution partnership with The9.