Mattel and NetEase form Joint Venture for mobile game development

Last week we saw LEGO partner with Tencent to develop games and services for the China market, this week it’s Mattel that is partnering with NetEase for very similar reasons. Mattel announced on January 30th that it has entered into a joint venture to form a game development studio called Mattel163. The studio will develop mobile games and other content based on Mattel’s brands for release in both the China and global markets. The first game title from the partnership will be based on Mattel’s UNO game and will be released on iOS, Android and Facebook. A few years ago Mattel had a big investment in building a Barbie flagship store in Shanghai, which did not do as well as hoped and was shuttered soon thereafter. This new effort may bring the brand back into the limelight in China, as well as helping to bring Mattel163-developed digital properties worldwide.

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Japanese game about a traveling frog goes viral in China

Tabi Kaeru, a game about a traveling frog from Japanese developer Hitpoint games, has gone viral in China, achieving the number one download position on the iOS China App store with over 10 million downloads. In the game, players travel around the world and collect leaves to create food and other items. The title has been a hit among casual gamers who shared screenshots and thoughts on various social media sites, making it one of the most discussed game in China. Tabi Kaeru has done extremely well among a female audience, as have other games such as Love and Producer. We believe there Is plenty of room for success of many other titles that target female gamers.

The average developer earns RMB 12,000 per month in China

A new survey from CNG notes that the average salary of a game developer in the Chinese games industry is RMB 12,000 per month. This is higher than other industries such as advertising, animation, film, TV and up 20% compared to 2016. We note that the rapid growth of China’s games industry has led to an increase in average compensation each year. The survey also notes that 57% of those working in the industry have a university degree. 36% have college level education. Niko Partners did a Chinese Game Development Studio directory and salary review several years ago – maybe it is time to brush off the dust and update that.

Tencent’s QQ Speed continues to find success, reaches 70m users

QQ Speed, Tencent’s online kart racing game which originally released for PC in 2008 is finding success on mobile devices in 2018. The game, which was released at the end of 2017, racked up 20 million users in a week and now one month one has 70 million registered users. In addition to its success on the download charts, the game has been a mainstay in the grossing charts, currently the #2 grossing iOS game in China just behind Tencent’s own Honor of Kings.

NetEase launches Minecraft Creator program for 60 million Chinese players

At the Minecraft developers conference in Hangzhou, China, NetEase vice president Wang Yi announced that Minecraft now has 60 million registered users across all official versions in China. The news comes as NetEase begins rolling out a new creator’s program for Minecraft developers in China. More than 500 creators have joined the program that will allow them to develop and sell content for Minecraft in China. NetEase operates a 70/30 revenue share program.