Asphalt 9: Legends Revs Up In China Through Alibaba Interactive Entertainment

Asphalt 9: Legends Revs Up In China Through Alibaba Interactive Entertainment
Credit: Asphalt via YouTube

Asphalt 9: Legends finally arrived in China through the efforts of Alibaba Interactive Entertainment, which partnered with Gameloft.

Alibaba Interactive Entertainment is the mobile distribution division of Alibaba Group founded by billionaire Jack Ma.

Simon Shi, Alibaba Interactive GM, confirmed this as he said the game already has a huge following in China. He said they are thrilled to give the Chinese market the chance to become a Legend in Asphalt 9.

China has always been an untapped potential for western gaming publishers and designers. But they couldn’t penetrate the market until recently because of the long-time ban on video games and consoles. The state has always been wary about the mental and physical health risks associated with video games.

In terms of revenues, China just trails the US by a small margin. As of June 2019, for instance, the Chinese gaming industry earned $36.5 billion against the $36.86 billion by the US, respectively.

No other country comes close. Japan is in third place but earned just under $19 billion. The revenue doesn’t even count the gray market. Due to the video game ban, knockoffs and piracy proliferated.

Shi said they are focused on introducing to the billions of Chines mobile users the gaming experience they deserve. China has more than 900 million Internet population, which is three times the size of the US.

Meanwhile, Gameloft exec Alix Cloux said they are happy to forge a partnership with Alibaba for Asphalt 9: Legends. The partnership is aligned with the company policy to bring the best gaming experience to customers “wherever they are.”

Cloux said they are looking forward to bringing Asphalt 9: Legends to the Chinese mobile market.

Lost in the generic statement is the large revenue potential for Gameloft. The population of China’s mobile gamers grew by leaps and bounds in the past decade. For instance, in 2010, there were only 153 million mobile gamers. By the end of 2019, the number is projected to hit 586 million.

Asphalt 9: Legends first debuted on July 27, 2018, the ninth installment in the franchise. There are some additions to the Legends, including the autopilot mode, new control configurations, and race modes. The best part is that the “Nitro Shockwave” from Asphalt 6 and 7 is coming back to Legends. The special button will allow you to trigger the Nitro and zoom past your opponents in no time.

There are currently 66 cars to choose from in the game, each with its unique characteristics. Asphalt 9: Legends is available for iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.