Kabam to Sell Assets to South Korea’s Netmarble

Kabam is selling a majority of their assets to Netmarble in Q1 2017. The most notable asset is Kabam’s Vancouver studio, which according to Gamesindustry.biz, “has proven its worth with the popular Marvel Contest of Champions game, which has grossed over $450 million since launching in December 2014, has more than 90 million installs, and consistently ranks within the Top 10 on the App Store charts.”

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. But Kabam was valued at $1 billion in August 2014 and had raised $245 million from investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The remaining studios in LA, San Francisco and Beijing will be forming a new entity once the deal closes.

China’s Yeahmobi Raises $100 Million

China’s Yeahmobi has raised approximately $100 million and it’s now valued at around $720 million – the new funds will be used on the existing mobile ad business and future acquisitions. According to Venturebeat, investors in the private placement include Beijing Bohai Tongxin Private Equity Fund (RMB 120 million), Nanjing Huawen Hongsheng Startup Investment Fund (RMB 100 million), Shenzhen Qianhai Bochuang Private Equity Fund (RMB 60 million), and 11 others.

Malaysia’s Sultan Muhammad V Sworn In

Malaysia swore in their 15th king, Sultan Muhammad V, last week. At age 47, he is one of the youngest Malaysian kings to have been sworn in (compared to his predecessor, who was 89). Malaysia is the only country in the world to have a rotational monarchy, which means that the role is passed between nine hereditary state rulers every five years. Malaysia’s governing power resides more in its prime minister and parliament, notably.

League of Legends Strikes Deal with MLB

Riot Games has established a deal with BAMTech, a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media, that will run through 2023 and will standardize the online streaming and monetization of League of Legends competitions. This is particularly interesting to us at Niko because the unlikely match-up of pro baseball and a multiplayer online battle arena game developer signifies the importance that eSports is playing in a world full of real-world sports. The real-world sports industry is recognizing a shift and that countries in which real-world pro sports are not very prominent are now filling that human competitive need with eSports. It offers growth for the real-world sports industry as well, to augment what they historically have done with the digital age. The possibilities are fantastic to envision, particularly in Asia where eSports has already become the unofficial national sport in many countries. This is one of Niko’s highlighted topics of what to watch in 2017.

Niko Partners on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter @nikochina to see these comments in real time as we publish them! @ZhugeEx is Niko analyst Daniel Ahmad – his opinions are his own and he has a very informative blog and Twitter feed. You can also find us on WeChat (ID: NikoPartners). Here are a few of our tweets from last week:

  • China’s Newest Online Gaming Regulations – Explained https://nikopartners.com/chinas-newest-online-gaming-regulations-explained/ …
  • China’s newest digital games regulations explained by Niko analyst Daniel Ahmad @ZhugeEX
  • New MOC Rule for Virtual Currencies in China https://nikopartners.com/new-moc-rule-virtual-currencies-china/ …
  • Had a great time on a panel @VR_Intelligence VRX conf in SF today with my former IDC analyst colleague @ChristineA_IHS and @MikeGoodman_SA
  • China regulatory agency SAPPRFT approved more than 1,000 games in November, up from 400-500 in each of Aug Sept and Oct since new policy.
  • Overwatch Continues to Dominate eSports Scene https://nikopartners.com/overwatch-continues-dominate-esports-scene/ …
  • The next Asian Games Industry Exhibition, Taipei Game Show 2017, will be held in 2017 on Jan 19-20 http://insidegamesasia.biz/over-150-game-developers-join-taipei-game-show-2017/ … via @iga_biz
  • Google DeepMind could invent the next generation of AI by playing Starcraft 2 http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/11/starcraft-2-google-deepmind-ai/ … via @arstechnica