Games Usage Expected to Rise During Lunar New Year Period

With the Chinese Lunar New Year coming soon (January 31st through February 6th), we look forward to seeing how the game rankings play out – typically, most games are overwhelmed with users during Chinese holidays.

According to an analysis by, 2013 was the year of MOBA games for the 2013 holiday time and we predict that this will continue through the new year holiday. Games to keep your eyes on include DOTA2, League of Legends and Meng San Guo.

League of Legends alone doubled its audience in less than 18 months this year globally, reaching 7.5 million concurrent users, according to Riot.

Shanda Considers Going Private

Shanda Games received an offer to be acquired and taken private by Shanda Interactive Entertainment and Primavera Capital, according to announcements this week. The deal is under consideration.

TCL to Launch Console in China

TCL Corporation, one of the world’s largest producers of televisions, is planning a game console for launch in China. Their statement says that they are preparing a “gaming TV,” which we believe may be more akin to some of the set top boxes we’ve seen so far in China.

Huawei Technologies will also be releasing an Android-based console, called Tron, and Microsoft is planning to enter a joint venture to legally bring the Xbox One into the scene as well. We have yet to hear about plans from Sony and Nintendo but we would guess that they won’t miss this opportunity.

This isn’t the first time in recent history that domestic companies have tried to establish consoles in China already, as we saw with Lenovo’s Eedoo/iSec last year, which was ultimately a failure.

Red 5 Lands $23 Million USD

Chinese game developer and operator The9 announced that Chinese media company Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development Co., Ltd. has purchased a 20.01 percent stake in its U.S.-based studio Red 5 in a deal valued at $23 million.

Asia is the Leading App Market in the World

This week, Distimo announced that Asia is now the largest app market in the world (no surprise there) and that in December, 41% of total global app revenues came from Asia. Asia also led the world in growth last year, seeing a 162% increase in revenues between December 2012 and December 2013 (primarily due to Google Play Store revenues).

On top of this, all signs indicate that China in particular is the next mobile battlefield. Right now, we see Chinese brands continuing to gain speed (like Lenovo and Xiaomi) over foreign entities (like Samsung and Apple), but it’s clear that the demand is there and the game isn’t over yet as top brands continue to shift rankings and mindshare. In China in particular, though, it’s pretty clear that free to play is the business model of choice for any app maker seeking to enter the market.

Garena’s Point Blank in Open Beta

Point Blank is a shooter game that is incredibly popular in Indonesia and recently expanded to other parts of SEA too, operated by Garena outside of Indonesia. Garena has the game in open beta with lots of special in-game activities planned for the Lunar New Year period. We will watch to see if the game gains strong popularity throughout the region after launching the online operator Kreon into the #1 spot in Indonesia a few years ago, and as of 2013 it was still #1.

Niko Partners in Forbes

Niko’s Lisa Hanson is now a Forbes Contributor. Her first post was 1/22/14 regarding the console ban being lifted in China. Check it out and watch for more posts in the near future. She also is a Gamasutra contributor and recently posted a piece about the game Blade & Soul there. You can find our own blog with these posts here.


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