NetEase to Operate Diablo III in China
NetEase will operate Blizzard’s Diablo III in China. It will be the 5th collaboration by the two companies, with the prior 4 games being StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Diablo III is a global sensation and has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide since its launch in 2012, so is regarded as a highly anticipated game in the Chinese market.
Perfect World to Focus On Mobile & Console Games
Perfect World declared that mobile and console games will be the focus of the company’s development efforts going forward. Neverwinter Nights will be among the first titles for Xbox One in China, to be launched this fall. Perfect World executive Mr. Yiran Xu forecast that the Xbox will achieve 1-2 million units sold in China in the first year of sales.
To put this in perspective, we can examine Niko’s past data on the console market. Niko tracked the console market in China for many years and the total number of game consoles sold via the grey market, across all 3 major brands, was 1.2 million in a year during the time of the ban on consoles. His forecast suggests a tremendous boost in demand for consoles, one that some industry observers are skeptical about.
MOBA Games Lead in China
Hangzhou Shunwang Technology confirmed what Niko has analyzed in recent months, which is that MOBA games are the most popular genre played in Chinese iCafes. The company estimates that 50% of iCafe gaming is MOBA games, and says that League of Legends (LoL), Dream of the Three ingdoms and DOTA 2 are the leaders. Niko’s data concurs with that, except we should note that FPS games are still quite popular in iCafes too and that the three MOBA games are in the Top 10 but do not make up the Top 3 titles.
The order would be LoL clearly in the lead at #1, the Dream of the Three Kingdoms down farther in the Top 10, perhaps in the Top 5, and then DOTA 2 below somewhere in the Top 10 spots. This has been the same for many months now.
Tencent Dominates World Cup Craze
Tencent distributed a press release to highlight the popularity of QQ and other products during the World Cup tournament. Some interesting facts include:
1) People viewed World Cup related videos over 1 billion times on Tencent’s platforms,
2) 100 million people received information on the World Cup daily via Tencent’s platforms,
3) QQ chat on mobile and PC has 848 million active users and mobile messages sent doubled in the month of the World Cup, and
4) 10 million QQ Football virtual stickers were downloaded during the tournament.
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