Chinese Overseas Investments Now Restricted
China has tightened the reins on external investment to combat rising debt ratios for domestic companies. One of the “restricted” areas is “entertainment.” We are not lawyers, but this seems to include digital gaming. We will work with our friends at Pillar Legal to sort out what it really means for Chinese games companies expanding internationally. It would be hard to imagine a scenario in which Tencent is ordered to halt its global shopping spree for content.
HTC Vive Price Drop
The HTC Vive VR headset is now $599 USD, having received a $200 price cut this week. One of the biggest challenges we have noted on the adoption of VR in China has been the steep cost of the hardware, not to mention the requirements for VR-capable PC rigs and then the price of the games on top of that. HTC Vive’s headset is currently considered one of the leaders in the market. The Oculus Rift is $499 (summer special is $399), but not launched in China. The PS4 VR package is $399, but you need to buy the PS4 too. All of these prices are high for China, so the shared model of “VR experience zones” may work better there.
RPG Sales Up 50% from 2016
According to the NPD Group, role-playing games are experiencing an unexpected renaissance in 2017. “Driven by titles such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Nier: Automata, Nioh, and Persona 5, year-to-date dollar sales of RPGs has grown more than 50 percent when compared to the same period a year ago,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. We have noted the decline of RPGs in China as gamers have begun to favor more social and team-based games such as MOBAs (LOL, Dota 2), but in a hit-driven business content is king.
Chinese Publishers Ramping Up Global Business
Over the first half of 2017, according to App Annie, Chinese publishers have growth their international audience and revenue to more than $3 billion, more than double H1 2016. Per the report, a majority of the growth has come from overseas subsidiaries like Tencent’s acquisition of Supercell.
Niko’s Latest Analysis on China’s VR Market
The China VR Market Topic Report, the fifth of five companion reports to Niko’s 2017 China Digital Games Market Data Report, is now available. This report can be used by itself, but is intended to be paired with the Market Data Report, in which we published the market size and forecast for PC online, mobile and TV-based games.