Founded in 2009 by young and energetic entrepreneur Lin Qi, Shanghai-based YOOZOO quickly became an integral part of the burgeoning Chinese games industry. Having started out life as a company focussed on browser games, YOOZOO enjoyed early domestic growth in games but gained a global standing through expansion into sports, entertainment, and most recently AI-driven biotechnology products.
Games localization and regional publishing were supported by opening regional offices in key regions such as India, Japan and the US, as well as acquiring Germany-based Bigpoint. In the years since inception, YOOZOO made huge strides across mobile platforms, whilst continuing to engage fans on its browser-based portal, GTarcade, developing its own IP titles and working to turn famous IP licenses into games. All told, YOOZOO has published more than 40 titles in the past 10 years – no small feat.
It’s no surprise then, to see YOOZOO in App Annie’s ‘Top 20 Chinese Publishers In Overseas Markets’. Facebook and KPMG named YOOZOO in its ‘Top 50 Leading Chinese Brands’ for the past 3 years. A strong global IP strategy is key to this success. Last year YOOZOO launched browser title Game of Thrones Winter is Coming – officially licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and HBO – by far its biggest license to date. In the following months, Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac proved to be a massive hit with mobile gamers; especially fans of the works of the world-renowned Kurumadapro manga studio.
This year, App Annie named Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac in its ‘Breakout Games of 2019’ for iOS and Google Play, becoming the number 1 RPG in France, and top 10 in 20 countries worldwide. Legacy of Discord, played in over 230 countries worldwide, entered the Top-10 grossing Chinese games published in overseas markets, as well as hitting the Top 5 of Sensor Tower’s ‘Top Chinese Mobile Games’. Era of Celestials, League of Angels III and Rangers of Oblivion all had multiple features across Facebook’s Big Games and on the App Store & Google Play Store.
In Japan, a games market on par with the US in size, Sensor Tower’s ‘Top Regional Publishers’ for May pitted YOOZOO in the top 25, spurred on by last month’s release of Junior Three Kingdoms becoming a top-seller, and YOOZOO holding three of the spots on May’s App Store top games rankings.
Elsewhere, YOOZOO Games India is also performing well, with hot new title Ludo All Star picking up ‘Best Casual Game of 2019’ by Google Play. The longevity of other smash titles including Poker Champions and Rummy with Sunny show the growing power of the India market. Success in these global markets is testimony to the ability of YOOZOO to adapt its global-mindedness to the unique tastes of different regions.
However, what really sets apart YOOZOO is their commitment to give back to the communities they serve. In the past 12 months, YOOZOO has donated 40,000+ meals to the World Food Programme’s ‘ShareTheMeal’ campaign, donated 240,000+ units of medical personal protective equipment to humanitarian organizations around the world in response to the coronavirus epidemic, and provided $0.5 million dollars’ worth of laptops and other learning resources to educational institutions throughout Asia.
As YOOZOO enters the naughty teens, there’s no sign of things slowing down. The latest addition in the wildly popular browser-based League of Angels series – Heaven’s Fury – and mobile apocalyptic Doomcar are both receiving good early reviews. R&D in VR Gaming is showing promising early signs, with domestic title Mirage in the Flower announcing a VR version of the game will be released this year, with a demo ready by the end of summer. Global fans have several more exciting titles to look forward to including Infinity Kingdom and League of Valhalla all set to launch in the coming weeks and months of an already stellar 11th year. Additionally, esports competitions and cloud gaming partnerships in the works tell us that there’s a lot more to look forward to.