Keep striving for long-term, top quality projects, IP owners urged

Chen Zimo

Keep striving for long-term, top quality projects, IP owners urged

China’s current intellectual property adaptation should stop aiming merely at growth volume, but make long-term plans to work on high-quality IP projects, a leading industry player said.

Xie Guangcai, executive vice-president of ChineseAll Digital Publishing Group (CADP) — one of the Chinese mainland’s largest digital publishing companies — shared his views on the country’s future IP adaptation trend at the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable event on Thursday.

IP adaptation in China comes mostly from online literature. CADP became the first listed digital publishing institution in the country in 2015, with 3.7 million signed writers, 4 million copyrights and 100,000 gigabytes of audio resources.

Before 2006, the company’s business model was simple — selling its copyrights to studios and game companies. It had never been involved in the follow-up adaptation process, according to Xie.

Recent years have seen the rapid development of IP adaptation in China, but problems have also arisen. Xie said CADP is not happy with the “reckless” adaptation of their works because the quality of the adapted works has fallen far short of expectations, and the lifespan of IP products in the market is short.

Moreover, the studios that purchased the copyrights usually offer harsh contracts. They would often add more requirements, such as all future developments of the original works, but with no solid plans.

“These platforms with big capital are draining the value of the original works. This oligopoly reminds us of what happened back in the old days when only State-owned TV stations on the mainland can produce TV series,” Xie recalled.

The same thing is happening in the gaming industry. According to Xie, most online games in the market incredibly resemble each other in both content and form and, sometimes, they seem to simply keep the character settings by just having their names changed.

Without the original storyline and gameplay, these mediocre games fail to attract users for long, said Xie, adding that all IP owners should shift their efforts to in-depth explorations of high-quality IPs.

In the past few years, CADP had set up its gaming and film division, and it plans to do deep exploration of high-quality IPs, making use of its resources.

In June this year, CADP and Wanda Media said they will cooperate fully in IP development. The two companies signed a 10-year contract that included three films, six TV series and a theme park ride, building on a popular fantasy novel Wu Song (the ode of sorcery).

The original contents are from 17K — a novel network affiliated to CADP.

After thorough research, Xie found that novels published on 17K, which targets mostly male readers, are better options to be adapted for gaming development.

CADP will put in more resources and efforts in the new field, he said.