China makes its first shots and corrects for windage and elevation
by Punch Rockgroin

If the new Diablo: Immortal game is any indication, mobile gaming has yet to take off in the West in the way it has in Japan. Mobile gaming continues to grow in popularity, while the Diablo fiasco is only exacerbated by the statement “You guys don’t have phones?” As other parts of the gaming market lag and dwindle, mobile gaming has found its footing.

Japan is spoiled for choice when it comes to mobile, such as Granblue Fantasy and Fire Emblem Heroes, among others. One such mobile game I have mentioned before, Kantai Collection (for a time overtaking Touhou Project as the top spot for doujins released at Comiket), has stagnated and is falling behind a rival with a similar premise.

A rival made in China.

Given the popularity of mobile games, no wonder China has jumped into the market with a plethora of games, Clash of Clans being probably the best-known, Chinese-made mobile game in the West. In terms of shipfus, Azur Lane has usurped Kancolle’s throne, most likely because they included the USS South Dakota while Kancolle can only come back with the Gambier Bay. It also takes the history of the ships into consideration and whether or not another ship led to their demise. In any case, it gives players the opportunity to throw their phone in frustration due to a bad performance by a museum ship.

Play ’em off, Keyboard Battleship.

Clearly this show in mobile gaming firepower can be seen as a shot across the bow. Does it apply to the mobile gaming industry at large? No, this is most likely a warning about a more strategic target: The Senkaku Islands. If Azur Lane is proving superior to Japan’s now-listing offering, this can only be seen as a metaphor for the superiority of China’s fleet. If Japan wants the Senkaku Islands so bad, they’ll have to step up their naval game and fight ship to ship… or maybe waifu-to-waifu if Kancolle figures out how to repair the hull.

Another game that should be considered as a direct challenge to Japan’s military is Girls Frontline. Though a game about a post-apocalyptic future where the world is so irradiated that man has chosen to fight instead with weaponized real dolls, the game may be hinting at a possible Chinese weapons program. Should the fighting for the Senkaku Islands need boots on the ground, does China have a deadly AI cast into the body of an anime girl? If this is the case, surely Japan and its disappearing birth rate are next to useless faced with such an opponent.

I can only hope that Japan can win this battle through the digital realm before things get physical. Now if you’ll excuse me, my T-dolls need their daily headpat.

Fuck yeah, look it up!
Azur Lane video game for iOS and Android
Produced by Yúwán 鱼丸, Designed by Shanghai Manjuu
Developed by Xiamen Yongshi, Distributed by Shanghai Yostar