China seeks to regulate Wild West of Esports
The Director of Electronic Sports at the General Administration of Sports said in an interview that the next step in a growing esports industry is regulation and sustainability. Exactly how esports will be regulated and to what extent the government will dedicate resources to develop the industry are topics still open for discussion according to the official.
Niko Partners Lisa Hanson commented on the news saying – “It is unclear to me what type of industry standard could be drawn up for all those sectors. The private companies from each of them are building the e-sports industry. There are 150,000 internet cafes and many are perfectly designed to be the venues for amateur play of games used in e-sports, such as team-based games. This helps to promote these games as pastimes and builds momentum and enthusiasm for them.”
To get each week’s headlines, with our analysis, delivered to your inbox every Thursday subscribe to our weekly email Niko News.
Sea Ltd (Garena) shows strength in mobile games in Q3 2017
The first earnings call for newly-public company Sea Ltd, better known by the gaming brand name Garena, showed strength in mobile games and strategy to build ecommerce. The PC games revenue suffered a bit, probably because of the strength of mobile game Arena of Valor (known as Honor of Kings in China). PUBG is distributed by Valve in GSEA, and that game has taken some market share as well. One thing we believe is that Garena will come out with a competing Battle Royale game, based on the fact that Tencent is heavy into such games in the pipeline and Tencent is a major investor in Sea Ltd. We maintain our strong forecast for PC gaming in GSEA. We also think that Garena’s focus on mobile gaming means that segment will continue charge ahead as well.
Nvidia Shield to launch in China with Nintendo Wii titles
Nvidia held a press conference this week to announce that it would launch the Nvidia Shield in China through its partnership with content provider iQiyi. Nvidia Shield is being positioned as a device that can play TV and Flim content as well as high quality games in a package that costs RMB 1499. To support the launch, Nvidia has partnered with Nintendo to bring classic Wii titles such as Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess to the device in 1080p resolution. The content deal is an extension of Nvidia and Nintendo’s relationship and gives Nintendo an increased presence in China. We expect Nintendo to increase its presence in China through 2018 and beyond as it looks to bring its mobile and console portfolio to the Mainland.
Battle Royale makes its way to Honor of Kings
Battle royale has been a hot game genre this year thanks to the explosive growth of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Many publishers have built their own games or implemented battle royale modes in existing games. Tencent has decided to implement a battle royale mode into its most popular game, Honor of Kings. The hit MOBA game, which is the number 1 grossing game in the world, will have a ‘battle of five armies’ mode that will allow 5 teams of 5 players to battle it out and be the last surviving team. The mode is scheduled to launch in late December and is seen as a way to bring new players into the game.
China’s esports industry drives growth for gaming hardware firms
With nearly 200 million esports fans in the country, gaming hardware suppliers are seeing strong growth in the China market as gamers opt for the best in class peripherals to improve their gaming experience. On JD.com, items such as Logitech’s programmable gaming mouse is the top selling product in the tech category. Many gaming hardware companies, such as Razer, have embraced the growing esports sector by actively sponsoring top esports players and celebrities to help promote its products.