Taipei, June 26 (CNA) The Game Developers Conference, the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers in the world, kicked off in Taipei Tuesday, attracting about 600 game professionals from around the world.
The two-day conference, being held in Taiwan for the first time, not only matches game developers with buyers but is also a platform where programmers, game designers, business decision-makers and others in the industry can gather to exchange ideas.
The two-day conference, organized by UBM China, the Taipei World Trade Center and the Taiwan Game Industry Promotion Alliance in a cross-Taiwan Strait venture, was taking place at the Taipei International Convention Center and featured speeches on four types of games -- online games, mobile games, social games and console games.
Speaking about mobile games, Ben Cousins, general manager of ngmoco Sweden, touted the merits of such games.
Mobile games not only expand the scale of the game industry but also are fast increasing in terms of the amount of revenue they generate and their market share, as they can be used on a wide variety of gadgets and operating systems, he said.
Cousins also said that the "freemium" business model, in which a product or service provider first presents their offerings free of charge but charges a premium for advanced features, will dominate the global game industry.
Chiang Hui-fang, a Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) official attending the conference, said Taiwan's game industry is highly competitive in the international arena and added that the rise of social media and smartphones will further push the frontiers for local game development.
In 2011, the digital gaming industry in Taiwan generated about NT$436 billion (US$14.5 billion) in total value, according to Hsiao Chen-jung, a MOEA official.
Hsiao urged the authorities in China to open up the game industry there, to enhance cooperation with Taiwan and beef up business opportunities.
In response, Fu Yanmei, an official from China's Ministry of Culture, said Taiwan is an important source of games for China, and that his country has a solid user base for both multiplayer games and entertainment games.
(By Yang Chia-ning and Scully Hsiao)