Why Hasn’t the PS4 Launched in China?
Niko reviewed several news items in China and it seems that the delay in the launch of PS4 is really based on the ability to unlock the region-lock controls on games and PSN, which would give access to content other than that approved by the Ministry of Culture for use in China. Liu Ruizhe of the Ministry of Culture is said to have prevented the launch because of the ability to unlock regional controls. Sony also is suffering from the delay in approval of some key game titles that would be important to have at the time of launch. We believe that once the region-lock feature issue is fixed the PS4 should be able to launch.
China’s new regulation governing user names has caused some Internet companies to proactively delete accounts that do not meet the new standard. One report says that 60,000 accounts already had been purged for inappropriate usernames, ahead of the March 1st implementation of the new policy. That is very few compared to the hundreds of millions of accounts that exist (yet only some will have illegal names), but it is a start.
Garena Announces Key Metrics, New President, New Major Investment
In a press release this week Southeast Asia’s impressive regional online game operator, Garena, announced a new investment and the hiring of a new president, Mr. Nick Nash, previously the execitve in charge of Southeast Asian business for US-based private equity firm General Atlantic. The press release also shed light on some previously undisclosed metrics about Garena’s business. Garena’s annual revenue is more than US$200 million in SEA and Taiwan, and the company has 17 million and 11 million monthly active users across its PC and mobile platforms, respectively. Garena has had great success operating Riot’s League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and FIFA Online 3 in SEA. Garena has expanded from just PC online and mobile games to include BeeTalk (mobile social network) and AirPay (payments network). The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is the latest investor in Garena.
Indonesia has the largest population of Internet users in SE Asia, at 72 million. 93% of these 72 million people are Facebook users. This excludes mobile users, of which there are 282 million active mobile subscriptions and 74% of whom use social media on their mobile device. Social Media Week 2014 was held in Jakarta, New York, Milan, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Lagos and Bangalore during the week of Feb 23-27 2015.
The Philippines is considering creation of a digital games rating system, with a goal to rate games by age appropriateness. The body in charge would be the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). The categories would be Adults Only, Parental Guidance Suggested, Not for Public Viewing, and For General Consumption.