Suzhou-based online game developer Snail Electronic (Snail Game) has announced the company's new mobile internet strategy, including a self-branded handset, game download platform, and targeted mobile data package.
The first part of Snail Game's mobile strategy centers around the release of a "Snail" version of TCL Communication Technology's (2618.HK) idolX+ smartphone. The handset will initially be priced at RMB 1,888, but players of Snail's games will be eligible to purchase the handset at a discounted price of RMB 988. The company began accepting pre-orders for the handset on January 8.
The company will also release a "Snail Store" ("Woniu Shangdian") mobile app, which allows users to download Snail mobile games and provides gamers with single-touch access to Snail's customer service hotline, as well as a forum for communicating with other players on a variety of topics. Mobile game developers on Snail's platform will keep 70% of game revenue. In an effort to attract startups and smaller game developers looking to minimize costs, Snail will offer game hosting and other related services on the platform.
Additionally, Snail will cooperate with China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) to introduce a new mobile data plan for gamers known as the "Snail Wo" package. Users with a China Unicom mobile number who successfully install the Snail Store app will receive discounted mobile data. idolX+ smartphone users will be eligible to receive one year's worth of data usage free of charge via the Snail Store, usable only for playing games on Snail's game platform.
According to Snail, the company has signed an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) agreement with China Unicom, currently pending approval by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Snail Game Launches Download Platform" MD 10/10/13 issue and "Rumor: TCL Communication to Release Wearable Device in December" MD 12/04/13 issue.