Path of Exile developers look to conquer China

  • 05/09/2017
Grinding gear games launches Path of Exile at themed event in Shanghai
Grinding Gear Games launches Path of Exile in themed event in Shanghai Photo credit: Supplied

Finn Hogan 

Auckland-based company Grinding Gear Games has recently taken a huge step onto the world stage, releasing its popular title Path of Exile into the largest emerging market on the planet - China.

Founded in 2006, the company has spent the past four years updating the online world of Path of Exile, which is currently played by millions of people worldwide.

The game is now available in China, a significant move, because the number of Chinese gamers is larger than the total population of the United States and United Kingdom combined.

The Chinese government has recently relaxed its censorship laws, lifting a 14-year ban on western gaming consoles earlier this year.

Grinding Gear Games founder, Chris Wilson, told Newshub that the Chinese market is "veraciously keen for Path of Exile".

The game has also now been released on Xbox One consoles globally, giving access to a further 50 million potential players.

Overall, the game's potential audience of PC and console players has increased by more than 300 million in the last two weeks.

The game is free to play, with the option of spending money on cosmetic extras that have no effect on the gameplay.

This business model is key to the company's success, said Gameplanet editor, Matt Maguire.

"If you're spending money in the game, it isn't giving you an advantage over other players... people feel like they aren't getting ripped off playing it."

Mr Maguire added that Path of Exile had succeeded despite strong competition.

"It's quite amazing what they've done. They've gone up against massive international companies making incredibly similar games."

Despite being free, this hasn't stopped the game from being financially successful, with Mr Wilson estimating that 75 percent of their "dedicated" players are giving money to the game.

The game has even proved a success among spectators. Over the past year, the online audience for the game logged an impressive 4490 years worth of combined viewing time on streaming site