Gaming consoles are finally back in China after a lengthy ban, and now a developer in that country is building games for those systems.
Oasis Games, a Chinese studio that started in 2011, plans to release Koi for the Western PlayStation 4 market April 19. This makes Oasis the first company in China to ever release a PS4 game for players in Europe and the United States.The company has previously had success making web-based adventures like Legend Online for its domestic fans, but it is now expanding into a global gaming market that is worth $99.3 billion when you include PC, mobile, and console. Koi will sell for $10 on the PlayStation Store or $8 for members of Sony’s premium PS Plus subscription service.
China is already an enormous gaming market. In 2015, consumers in that country spent $22.2 billion on games across a variety of devices. PC and the web made up the biggest chunk of that at $15.2 billion, but mobile is also growing hyperfast with a 50 percent year-over-year increase to $4.1 billion. Console gaming, however, is relatively tiny at just $400 million in revenues. But Oasis is hoping that it can capture some of that business while ultimately making most of its return on investment overseas.
Koi puts players in the role of a fish in a pond who must solve puzzles and find zen throughout a number of missions in order to return the polluted waters to a pristine state. It features a clean art style that is reminiscent of some other indie games, but at the same time it also feels unique. One of the obvious benefits of China opening up its market to consoles is that a studio like Oasis could come along and bring its game-making perspective to players around the world. This is the first opportunity to see how that works.