ChinaJoy this year really showed how China’s gaming industry is all about smartphone games.

One Piece, Gundam, Dragon Ball Z, Slam Dunk, Hunter × Hunter and many more big-name anime franchises are licensing Chinese companies of literally all backgrounds to make mobile games based on these series.

At ChinaJoy, Momo -- which runs Tantan, China’s answer to Tinder  -- unveiled a new Digimon game titled Digimon: Encounter.

The game, co-developed by Bandai Namco, is a turn-based RPG where players battle one another with different Digimons or team up to challenge bosses in dungeons.

But Bandai Namco stressed that at its core, Digimon: Encounter is a social game. Players can trade items with friends and go on adventures together to collect and nurture the more than 200 Digimons available.

Through feeding and combat, Digimons gain experience points which allow them to evolve. The game also allows players to build headquarters, which can include different facilities to help treat and train up Digimons.

The game, available only in China at the moment, opened for pre-registration this month. The counter on the website now shows there are more than 170,000 pre-registered users.

For now though, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of chatters around this game on social media. Its most popular Weibo post has fewer than 50 shares.

The developers said this Digimon game focuses on helping people socialize. (Picture: Momo)

But Digimon does have a fairly huge fan base in China. I still look fondly back to the time when the finale of Digimon Frontier was aired on Hong Kong broadcaster TVB. There were almost a hundred kids gathered at a corner shop outside our elementary school to watch it.

It’s no surprise that Digimon is getting a mobile game -- especially considering rival anime Pokemon’s massive success with Pokemon Go. In fact, before Bandai Namco and Momo released this game, there were quite a few unlicensed Digimon games that caught a lot of attention.

Now that Digimon: Encounter is out, Bandai Namco says it’s determined to crack down on them.