Australian mobile developer Halfbrick Studios is hoping localized, ad-supported versions of its popular title Fruit Ninja
can attract an additional 70 million Chinese downloads for the game in the next six months.
Speaking at Beijing's Mobitalk conference (as reported by IDG News
), Halfbrick CEO Shainiel Deo said that the game has already been downloaded 20 million times in China, representing 30 percent of over 66 million total downloads worldwide.
"When you see the rate of downloads per day and the rate its increasing, I don't think it's going to be a big deal to hit that target [of 70 million]" he said.
The game's Chinese success has come despite what Deo estimates is a 50 percent piracy rate for Fruit Ninja
in the country. To limit this problem, Halfbrick has teamed up with China's iDreamSky to develop free, localized versions of the game, that make money off of ads and microtransactions.
Deo said that Halfbrick is "really following in the footsteps of [Angry Birds
maker] Rovio" with Fruit Ninja
, with plans to sell merchandise and produce animated short films
based on the property in China.
Since launching on iOS in 2010, Fruit Ninja
has been ported to platforms including Android, Windows Phone 7, and even the Xbox 360
, with full Kinect support.