Many media outlets around the world picked up Niko Partners’ press release on our most recent research report, Chinese TV-based Gaming, as it included our views on the current and future state of console gaming in China. Gamelook’s analysis included data from our release and other interesting information. One thing we want to convey is that the key to success for consoles in China is the catalogue of games that could become available. If game developers embrace the challenge of making games either in China or specifically for China, and if they make them with the content regulations in mind, and if these are regarded as “great games”, then there could be a surge in demand for console hardware to play these games. Games are the key to the success. Gamers do not “need” consoles now because they have great games on their current PC and mobile platforms, but if other, different great games are published for console-only, (and if the price comes down further for the hardware), then there could be a chance of greater success. So challenge yourselves, developers! Be the game that builds a market!
NetDragon is publicly traded in Hong Kong and has made some interesting moves over the years. The company had only a few hit PC online games (including Eudomons Online), but it owned a massively successful mobile games marketplace called 91 Assistant that it sold to Baidu for $1.85 billion, did a creative deal with Disney for its games, and now NetDragon is buying an Ed-Tech provider called Promethean World that makes interactive whiteboards.
There is an increase in interest in digital casino games throughout Asia despite the prohibition of gambling in countries such as China. Singapore has announced it may launch legal online betting by 2015 in time for the Euro 2016 football championships. We will watch this space carefully.
Indonesian Electronic Sport Association (IeSPA) inaugurated the Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara as an Honorary Board member. The government is recognizing e-sports as an important part of “athletics” yet emphasizing that youth should not be all-consumed with e-sports.
Blizzard announced that the Philippines host the first large-scale Hearthstone event in the region. While Blizzard declined to release the margin of votes, the race was neck-to-neck in the final three-day stretch leading to closing of the polls last July 8. As the first big event for Hearthstone, the SEA Grand Finals will serve as a qualifier tournament. The winner of the event will be eligible to compete at the World Championships of Hearthstone during BlizzCon, Activision-Blizzard’s annual event to be held later this year. The regional qualifier winner will receive $10,000 along with the opportunity to compete and represent the country and region for a $100,000 Grand Prize at the Hearthstone World Championships.