Increasing Sales in China for Gamedev: Your 6 NEXT STEPS

Jan Chmielowski
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Want to increase game sales from China... but don't know where to start? Then get ready for the JUICIEST piece of content about Chinese marketing for gamedev you’ve ever read.

We value honesty - it's an article about our services, because they deliver sales for gamedev companies. No matter if you’re an indie developer or a AAA studio - our All Things China package is your go-to solution that will boost your sales from the Chinese market, granting you maximum possible transparency... as well as new distribution channels, access to interaction with the Chinese community and much more!

So what does the All things China package include? 6 key services – here they are:

1. HeyBox

As Bill Gates once said: „content is king”. In terms of the Chinese market your go-to platform for increasing sales is called HeyBox (小黑盒), literally „small, black box”. Before you read further – keep in mind that you’re present on HeyBox ALREADY. How is it possible?  

Thanks to HeyBox’s partnership with Steam, the platform serves as a game key distribution channel. The number of your wishlists / game copies sold from China is generated in the majority by HeyBox users.  

In other words, HeyBox is basically an aggregator of Steam keys, it’s the „Steam front-end” with Chinese UI. It’s also the gathering place for over 65 million MAU, who are constantly looking for new titles, leave feedback on your games and are ready to help you grow in China.  

So what do we do on HeyBox?  

  • We establish an official HeyBox account that will be your communication channel with the community
       Official account of Games Operators on HeyBox    
  • We map out everything that the community has created and engage with the posts to shift traffic to the official account
“Awesome typing game! Chinese localization is dope!” - comment on Epistory, game developed by Fishing Cactus
  • We create content in Chinese – copy, graphics and videos (yup, gameplays in Chinese are something we’d love to do for you)
       Copy + graphic - all created in-house
  • We monitor and share with you the status on game sales, account performance and community feedback
       Average playtime, number of game copies sold, sales peaks - you name it!
  • We engage with the community by organizing competitions and by addressing their comments.
       CD key giveaway competition


  • Ultimately – we increase your sales!

HeyBox is your go-to place for increasing sales, but remember that this is Middle/Bottom of the funnel stuff, so let's generate some traffic that will convert into sales in the next section!  

💡 If you want to know exactly why your titles are ALREADY available on HeyBox + how popular they are - book a free discovery call!  

2. Influencer marketing  

Establishing a relationship, the so-called 关系 (connections), is the key for a successful influencer marketing campaign. Almost everyday we get asked:  

what portion of our budget should we allocate for influencers?  

...What if we told you that you don’t need to spend a penny on that?  

How is it possible?  

  • First we map out every piece of content about your games that has been ever created on Chinese social media: HeyBox, BiliBili, Douyin, Weibo and create a database of the influencers in the shared spreadsheet
  • We contact with the influencers in a non-intrusive, non-sales-oriented, personalised way and establish relationship
  • We combine registration of the official HeyBox account with the influencer marketing campaign, share the information about competitions (spoiler alert! Competitions are the best way to engage with the community!) and other profits that the influencer’s audience can benefit from
  • We maintain the relationship with the influencers that are within our network and share with them information about new events, development updates and our new gamedev partners
  • We distribute the content influencers created on other channels, e.g. official HeyBox account – boosting the ultimate reach

A lot of influencers will be willing to work with you… simply because they enjoyed playing your games and the materials they recorded helped them increase their fanbase. So by giving them more exclusive materials, you become their partner.  

Of course you can boost this even more by spending extra budget on paid campaigns. When you start working with us, you get access to our existing database of proven influencers that will be willing to record videos for fixed prices.    

Any case studies? Just in the first month of our cooperation with Games Operators we successfully established relationships with 3 Bili Bili influencers who published the trailer of Infection Free Zone free of charge. Results?  

  • Total reach: 145k+ views
  • Reactions: 4,2k likes
  • Comments: 400+
  • +100-200 HeyBox fans

Willing to try?  

  • one-off is possible
  • the budget for paid collaborations is fully elastic
  • full transparency

3. PR outreach  

Apart from outreach to influencers we also map out every gaming news outlet and blog that has ever published articles about your titles and add them to our existing database.  

Next steps?  

  • We localise your press notes or create ones if needed (including graphics, videos)
  • Share the materials with the news outlets
  • Moderate comments and redirect traffic to HeyBox
  • Share the materials on other social media channels
       Exemplary article      

4. Community management  

Community is the driving force of sales. Huqiao team consists of Chinese native speakers and former interpreters with experience in gaming and e-sports – we know how to speak in the community’s language.

What? How? Where?  

  • We monitor everything that the community shares on Steam, HeyBox, Bili Bili, Douyin, Huya, Youku, Discord (and other SM channels if needed) on the weekly basis
  • Frequently asked questions or feedback is marked down in the shared spreadsheet alongside with the generic answers that you as a developer can copy and paste as well.
  • We redirect traffic from ToF (Top of the Funnel) SM platforms to HeyBox, which is the BoF (Bottom of the Funnel) platform – the place where your games get bought by the community.

Any case studies?  

During the first week after Model Builder’s launch, Huqiao team was responsible for monitoring and reporting the community’s feedback on Steam and Chinese social media platforms. Thanks to that stand-by support and synchronous communication on Discord, Moonlit team has achieved spectacular results:  

7 days after the game launch:  

  • The rating went from 75% (D1) to 80% (D7)
  • Steam followers number grew from 7000 (D1) to 13 500 (D7)
  • 7 hotfixed were implemented (thanks to reporting the bugs community found)

This is the example that even an indie game based on a non-mainstream genre can perform very well in China – as long as the community feels that you want to be a part of them.  

5. Localization  

没有中文  - (no Chinese)  

This is the most common NEGATIVE comment you will see among Steam reviews if your game is not localised into Chinese.  

Localisation may not be the most important part of the game experience but surely is crucial to maintaining the high review percentage = better exposure on the Steam page.  

What we can localise for you:      

  • Game files
  • Steam page
  • Announcements
  • Subtitles
  • Company name and KV
  • …and even your name (yup, creating a Chinese name for you is not only something we do for fun, but something that has real business implications in terms of your communication with Chinese partners)

Basically any material that will be helpful for creating content in Chinese on your Chinese SM accounts. Also – every piece of content the specialists create always goes through proofreading of another team member (Chinese native speaker).

6. Other support to boost your sales  

五千多年的历史  -  (More than 5000 years of history)  

You will hear this number quite a lot while talking with your Chinese partners. This is how long Chinese history is. Getting a better understanding of China’s unique customs and festivals will get you closer to the community (see p. 4) and save you from a possible faux-pas.  

However, we know that you don’t have 10 years to study how Daoist and Confucian ideas shaped modern society, so that’s why we boil down our expertise to essentials and sensitise you to the most important cultural differences.  

As a part of our cultural support, we can:  

  • Teach you basic Chinese to record a video with us – this is something the Chinese LOVES to see and hear! Take a look at this video - Moonlit team recorded it just after 2-3 days of practicing with one of Huqiao’s specialists.  
  • Conduct weekly Chinese classes tailored to your interests – to help you get even better understanding about the gamedev industry in China through language and to boost your creativity by bringing you to the world of 中文.
  • Answer the inquiries that appear in your mailbox – to let you know if that person is credible or not. As your presence in China will grow, you will get more attention from locals, which means more messages... we can take care of it!

As a part of our other support, we can:      

  • Conduct researches on distribution platforms
  • Help you with registration and API integrations to Chinese platforms
  • Reach out to Chinese entities (including publishers)
  • Provide you with legal consultations

Getting a grasp on the Chinese market is easy – as long as you have a guide who’ll show the right way. And if you’re still hesitant about starting cooperation with us, here’s a list of other agencies that are more transparent than Huqiao and can provide you with a broader area of marketing solutions for increasing sales in China – click me!  

So, as once Laozi said:  

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step  

Let this article be your first (or next!) step on the Digital Silk Road! Write to us today :)

~Huqiao 琥桥 Team  

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