China Leads eSports Prize Winners

Gamelook reported that in 2015 China has maintained the top position in terms of professional eSports gamers’ total income, with the prize amount totaling $14.08 million. In 2014 China’s professional eSports gamers’ income surpassed South Korea and became the highest in the world. According to iResearch, the number of eSports participants and eSports audience has been growing and is estimated to exceed 100 million people in 2016.

NetEase Doubles Performance Over 2014

NetEase has nearly doubled their performance over 2014, generating $2.7 billion from their PC and mobile games in 2015 including roughly $1 billion in profit. NetEase is the long-standing partner of Blizzard in China and they have published Warcraft, Starcraft II and Hearthstone but they also operate the leading games like Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward Journey Online II, Westward Journey Online III, Tianxia III and more.

Valve Fires Shanghai Major Commentator & Production Company

Showing the importance of China’s esports industry, Valve’s Gabe Newell directly fired the commentator and production company of the Dota 2 Shanghai Major competition because of several technical and personal judgement issues. According to Polygon, the commentator made many inappropriate and obscene comments throughout the tournament. The Shanghai Major is the biggest Dota 2 tournament so far this year with a prize pool of $3 million USD. The main event started this week on the 1st in partnership with Perfect World.

Mobile Handset Production in China

Chinese domestic mobile handset production and competition is heating up. Xiaomi announced plans to open 300 retail stores across China, seemingly in response to Huawei Technologies launching retail plans. Xiaomi has historically only sold products online, famous for its flash sales.

Nintendo Slashes Financial Forecast, Celebrates Pokemon’s 20th Anniversary

Nintendo has recently slashed their financial forecast nearly in half due to “poor exchange rates” along with disappointing sales. However, this week has been notable as Nintendo has celebrated the 20th anniversary of their massively successful license – purportedly pulling in about $1.5 billion a year, making it one of the most profitable licenses in the world. To get a full grasp of the entire extent of the Pokemon series, check out Polygon’s timeline covering the past 20 years. Even more importantly, Pokemon recently announced the arrival of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon later in 2016 and it will come with nine language options – including Chinese for the very first time.

Niko Partners on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter @nikochina to see these comments in real time as we publish them! Here are a few of our tweets from last week:

  • ‘Weird’ new buildings banned in Chinese cities …
  • China Issues Broad New Rules for Web …
  • China’s Cheetah Mobile Plans Major Silicon Valley Presence …
  • Congrats on 25 years, Dean! @Deanbeat The DeanBeat: The joy of covering video games for 25 years … via @VentureBeat
  • Nintendo is branding their first app, Miitomo, as “free-to-start” 😉
  • Our Lunar New Year gift to you is a free data-rich report on the Chinese mobile games market, written by DataEye.
  • China is poised to lead growth of mobile games and virtual reality content. via @FortuneMagazine