A Hungary Game Designer Chases Dream in Sanlongwan
Foshan China 2024-01-11 18:00

On a bustling autumn afternoon in HaiChuang Dazu Robot Intelligent Manufacturing City, there is a hive of activity in Sanlongwan Sci-Tech City, Foshan. However, in the production workshop of Building 21, Janos Feher and his colleagues are engaging in the final debugging check, setting a different tone with an array of exquisitely designed and charming amusement devices such as dancing machines, claw crane machines, and pinball machines neatly aligned. It is revealed that this batch of amusement devices will be shipped to the North American market in the coming days, destined for deployment in major commercial areas and entertainment venues.

Janos Feher, originally from Hungary and the Director & Founder of Guangzhou IPLAY Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., has dedicated himself to refining product quality, expanding business areas, and seizing development opportunities. With over 80 self-developed and assembled gaming products, IPLAY has made its mark in markets including China, the Middle East, North America, and Europe.

Janos Feher, the director and founder of Guangzhou IPLAY Technology., Co. Ltd.

Deeply rooted in the thriving soil of entrepreneurship, Janos Feher, who has become attached to the Sanlongwan Sci-Tech City, is crafting the unfolding tale of growth for both himself and IPLAY.

"My love for gaming dates back to my childhood, and delving into the intricacies of game logic has always intrigued me," shares Janos Feher.

Fueled by this passion, he deliberately chose game design as his professional pursuit. Post-graduation, Janos Feher initiated his game device development venture in Australia, where the flourishing gaming industry yielded valuable experience and market insights in the nascent stages of his career. He emphasizes that designing and developing amusement devices not only gratifies his personal joy of gaming but also bestows happiness and laughter upon players, making it an inherently gratifying profession.

During his tenure in Australia, Janos Feher frequently traveled to China for procuring gaming machine components. At that juncture, he discerned the presence of numerous gaming machine assembly factories in China, offering convenient access to product materials and processing. However, he astutely recognized the absence of a comprehensive production chain. Relative to the exorbitant labor and procurement costs in Australia, Janos Feher expeditiously seized a lucrative business opportunity in China.

In 2010, Janos Feher, introduced by his friends, made his way to Guangzhou and founded IPLAY's inaugural factory in mainland China, aspiring to carve out a new domain for himself.

Guangzhou IPLAY Technology., Co. Ltd. locates in the Haichuang Dazu Robot Intelligent Manufacturing City in Sanlongwan.

Yet, Janos Feher's foray into entrepreneurship in China faced initial hurdles. At the outset, product sales were less than impressive, prompting him to delve into market research. Taking the dancing machine as a case in point, Janos Feher observed that European and American buyers placed considerable emphasis on both the equipment's quality and music copyrights. Consequently, he and his team embarked on innovations in the product's song library and playability.

As disclosed, the product series featured a song library comprising 500 globally popular songs right off the factory floor, with an additional three new songs added each month. "We formed a dedicated team overseas to procure music copyrights, ensuring that every song in the library holds official copyright authorization," conveyed Janos Feher. With the rising awareness of copyright among consumers, the song library and copyright have become the most concerned issue of many businesses, and the solution of this problem swiftly propelled IPLAY's products into overseas consumer markets. Presently, the dancing machine stands as IPLAY's top-selling product, with an average monthly sales volume surpassing 100 units, primarily distributed to regions such as North America, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Dance machines produced by Guangzhou IPLAY Technology., Co. Ltd.

In recent years, with the relentless advancement of Internet technology, consumer entertainment preferences have diversified. The advent of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies has, to varying extents, posed challenges to Janos Feher's traditional amusement device development. "In today's landscape, many users favor experiencing portable gaming devices like PS4 and Switch at home, and the inclination to venture out for arcade games is dwindling," remarked Janos Feher. Confronted with shifting consumer demands, Janos Feher has devised his own strategies. Beyond innovative design and development, the pillars of robust product quality and inventive marketing approaches are pivotal in bolstering product competitiveness.

As a father of three, Janos Feher expresses that he often accompanies his children for outdoor activities. The playability and safety of amusement devices in the market inadvertently lead him to contemplate how to ensure the quality and reputation of products while innovating device technology, which is an important factor to enhance brand influence. Beyond providing entertainment experiences, amusement devices must also provide a sense of security for consumers.

To achieve this, Janos Feher, while optimizing the product experience, considers high-quality after-sales service as the core competitive advantage for IPLAY. With an unwavering pursuit of product quality, all software and hardware components of the devices are personally designed and developed by him. In a commitment to enhance product competitiveness, IPLAY pledges an extended warranty period of 10 years, far surpassing the industry average of 3 years. Additionally, IPLAY maintains a specialized technical team dedicated to after-sales services overseas, ensuring consumers enjoy the highest quality post-purchase support. This commitment to quality has rapidly earned consumer loyalty in overseas markets such as the United States, Japan, and Italy, culminating in IPLAY being honored with the prestigious global business excellence award – The BIZZ AWARDS.

Awards received by Guangzhou IPLAY Technology., Co. Ltd.

In this era where the deeply buried gold cannot shine, Janos Feher employs distinctive strategies in product marketing. Observing the current Chinese market, he identifies the popularity of animated IPs like "Boonie Bears" among many children, with parents willingly purchasing related merchandise for their kids. Consequently, Janos Feher secures official authorization from the "Boonie Bears" animated IP and incorporates these adorable animated characters into the design of claw crane machines. He plans to deploy these machines in high-traffic areas, such as large shopping malls and cinemas, coinciding with the release of the "Boonie Bears" New Year film series, leveraging the IP's popularity to drive product revenue.

Claw machines produced by Guangzhou IPLAY Technology., Co. Ltd., themed around the "Boonie Bears" IP.

From September 11th to 13th, 2023, the 15th GTI Guangzhou Amusement Equipment Industry Expo took place in Guangzhou. The three-day event attracted a large number of exhibitors and spectators. IPLAY's amusement devices exhibited on-site garnered considerable attention, with numerous visitors eager to document the experience and merchants engaged in deeper business discussions with Janos Feher after learning about the products. "We are delighted that IPLAY's products have gained attention and affection from everyone," expressed Janos Feher.

Janos Feher was participating in the 15th GTI Guangzhou Amusement Equipment Industry Expo.

After firmly establishing a presence in Guangzhou, Janos Feher, undeterred, propelled IPLAY beyond its comfort zone. As the company's production scale continued to expand, in 2020, Janos Feher began searching for a location for the company's new production line. After assessing various cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Qingyuan. In 2023 introduced by Chinese friends, Janos Feher became acquainted with the Sanlongwan Sci-Tech City and Haichuang Dazu Robot Intelligent Manufacturing City, ultimately choosing this location for the company's expansion.

As a crucial gateway for Foshan's cooperation with Germany and Europe, the current Sanlongwan Sci-Tech City is intensifying efforts to enhance the souring capabilities for innovation, accelerate infrastructure construction, attract more high-end talents, technologies and projects, and create a top-notch business environment. The aim is to transform Sanlongwan into a "City of Research and Development," "City of Industry," "Talent-Friendly City," and "International City." Within the region, industrial parks, meticulously designed and well-equipped, such as Haichuang Dazu Robot Intelligent Manufacturing City, offer high-quality industrial platforms for the settlement of various high-end manufacturing enterprises.

Aerial view of the Haichuang Dazu Robot Intelligent Manufacturing City. (Source: Foshan Daily)

"Although cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen are highly developed, the fast-paced lifestyle there isn't the office environment I desire," stated Janos Feher. In the Sanlongwan Sci-Tech City, he found a top-notch ecological environment where the city and nature harmoniously coexist. This atmosphere enhances his ability to engage in product research and development.

Machine components personally designed by Janos Feher.

During the site selection process, the responsible person at Haichuang Dazu Robot Intelligent Manufacturing City proactively reached out to Janos Feher, introducing the supporting facilities of the park. The park also diligently addressed various issues encountered by Janos Feher during the company's settlement and production process, providing robust assistance for IPLAY's establishment in Foshan.

Looking ahead, Janos Feher has ambitious goals. Leveraging the strategic location advantages of Sanlongwan Sci-Tech City, he aims to further integrate amusement devices with emerging technologies. With his keen sense of the consumer market and top-notch design capabilities, he plans to meticulously craft higher-quality and more immersive amusement devices, build brand reputation, and continually expand the market share of the company's flagship products.

Janos Feher (left) and colleagues are conducting debugging checks on the machines.

Having settled in Sanlongwan Sci-Tech City, Janos Feher mentioned that the Sanlongwan International Talent Hub has proactively contacted him, currently working to address the settlement issues for overseas employees. He believes that in the near future, IPLAY will attract more capable staff.

"Compared to industry leaders, our company is still in its early stages, but I am confident," claimed Janos Feher. He hopes that IPLAY will become a globally renowned amusement device manufacturer in the future, eagerly anticipating the continuation of his "game design dream" in the land of Sanlongwan.

Reporter | Serena

Revisor | Eddie, Lynn

Photo | Sanlongwan International Talents Hub