Tower of Saviors sold 21% of its company shares at 5 billion HKD

Tower of Saviors sold 21% of its company shares at 5 billion HKD

After the very famous WhatsApp buy-out by Facebook happened some weeks ago, here comes a rather local news in the Application stage. A Hong Kong gamer developer Mad Head Company Limited sold 21% of its company share to a mainland China online game hosting company at a skyrocketed price 5 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 70 million USD). The signature game of this company is the app store top-ranked Tower of Saviors, a match 3 RPG game which has been running for around a year. The developers are university graduates who and started the business in year of 2013. The game, according to official figures, has been downloaded 9 million times and the user base has been growing like there isn’t a limit. The main source of users are from smartphone users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China as the game is mainly written in Chinese Language. The game plot is written after many mysteries and cultures all over the world. This game has attracted players at all age.

The main mode of gaming is collecting and leveling up various characters in the game. The characters can be formed into teams and work out massive combo attacks with skills. There are also social game element in the ToS as players can meet friends who can share the leader characters and fight against the villains. By fighting the villains in the towers, users can gain in-game money and diamonds to excel in the game. One of the most lucrative part in this business is the lucky draw of the rare creatures and characters, which cost users valuable item – diamonds. The diamonds can be purchased by real-life money and this will be the main source of income of the Mad Head Company. ToS is one of the very addictive games that are the top-grossing games in both iOS and Android Play Store.

However, their success does not come only with joyfulness. The ToS was allegedly plagiarizing a Japanese match 3 RPG game named Puzzle and Dragon (P&D) by GungHo online. A game with similar features and mode of game released in Japan and US around half year earlier than the ToS. The P&D is a game with 22 million downloads in Japan. The CEO of ToS has repeatedly denied the claims through local media that they made reference to PD but they did not plagiarize it. It seems obvious that ToS was a copycat with great success in greater China region. This matter can be viewed in two angles. From the local market point of view, ToS has been a great game because there were no other similar games with such scale at that times. Most of the copycats after ToS were not quite successful because ToS has been a pioneer in bring in the match 3 RPG game in the Chinese Market. The copycat thing is apparent as P&D had the system half year before the release of ToS. But in a free market, it is really hard to judge whether such plagiarism is illegal given they have totally different game interface. The idea was surely borrowed from P&D but the graphics and development were in a different way. To think of this issue in another way, we should ask why GungHo online, the developer of P&D, did not release their game in the Chinese Market in first place? The P&D arrived in the Chinese stores on 3.3.2014, 2 years later than the official launch in Japan. Therefore, GungHo lost its own chance of gaining the market share in the Chinese market initially. Such one-against-one case can not easily be solved. Yet, what we see is a local pride in Application development. Somehow this is also an international joke that Chinese counterfeit products near the performance of international big brands.




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