China’s Mobile Carriers Launch Game Plan

During the GMIC conference in Beijing May 5-6, the three largest Chinese mobile carriers jointly launched the “Double Hundreds Plan.” The plan says they will jointly develop 100 mobile games to generate monthly revenue of more than 1 million RMB ($160,000), per title.

Bloomberg reported that the carriers will have a joint rating system for games in the world’s biggest smartphone market, and that the mobile games industry there is expected to grow by 50% in 2014 off of strong growth in 2013 too. The Double Hundreds Plan will maximize resources including users, platforms, networks, marketing and more, to evaluate and promote selected games.

Alibaba Files for IPO

Alibaba filed for IPO on Tuesday May 6, and bankers estimate it may achieve $15-20 billion in value from the public listing. The company has yet to announce whether it will list on NASDAQ or the NYSE. Alibaba is a giant Internet and E-commerce company, of which Yahoo! currently owns 23%. The Wall Street Journal compiled an easy-to-navigate infographic that defines “what is Alibaba” and we think it will give our clients a good look at the company. For the Chinese games industry, Alibaba and Tencent have strong competition for mobile games and we are watching that unfold.

Detailed Console Regulations for China

Here you can find the detailed implementation rules for the Shanghai FTZ, translated fully into English by LAI Global Game Services as posted on Gamasutra. Niko had provided our readers with a summarized translated list of these rules last week.

Xbox One to Launch in China in September

On April 29th Microsoft officially announced it will launch Xbox One in China in September 2014 with its JV partner, BesTV. This move is possible only because BesTV is located in Shanghai, and earlier this year the 13-year ban on consoles was lifted in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Now that the official rules of the FTZ market have been detailed and announced, companies are able to firm up plans to launch their console products.

There are many views on whether Xbox One or other consoles will succeed in China, some say “yes, but slowly” others say “no way.” We believe there is a market for consoles in China but the price point is important, marketing and promotions will need to define why a gamer should buy a legitimate product now rather than settle for a grey market console in shops found everywhere that have been available for all of the years of the ban. The other key factor will be the mode of games distribution and pricing – these are still yet to be announced by Microsoft or by one of many domestic Chinese technology hardware firms that too have announced they will enter the console market.

Niko just put out our latest report, 2014 Chinese PC Online & Console Games Market Report, and that covers what we know so far about demand, usage and regulations for this segment of the booming games market.

Blizzard Games in the Philippines

Blizzard Entertainment announced it will launch its games in the Philippines via its Southeast Asian regional distributor, Asiasoft.