Ubisoft’s New Studio in the Philippines

In Q2 of 2016, Ubisoft will open a new studio in the Philippines and plans on hiring up to 50 people within its first year. The studio will be located in Santa Rosa, a city south of Manila, and will work closely with Ubisoft Singapore – including several team members relocating from the Singapore office to help train the new recruits in the Philippines.

iPhone SE Preorders in China

Mimicking Xiaomi’s success with a more affordable smartphone in China’s market, it looks like pre-orders of Apple’s new iPhone SE (the “budget” iPhone) have already exceed 3.4 million units. This will be the cheapest phone ever in an extremely important market for Apple. As of 2015, China is Apple’s second-largest market after the Americas and has contributed significantly to Apple’s YOY growth.

Line Corporation to Become a Smart Portal

LINE, a mobile messaging app, has intent to “transform itself from a leading mobile messenger service into a top smart portal connecting all service platforms.” This will be the second pivot for LINE, which initially started out in Japan as a response to national disasters. Japan’s Tōhoku earthquake in 2011 damaged telecommunications across the country, so people had to rely on mobile messaging and Internet-based apps to communicate. Since going public with the app, they have monetized very successfully through stickers and Line Game games.

Chinese Acquisitions in Europe

China’s acquisition spree continues throughout Europe as Jagex was bought by Shandong Hongda (an iron ore mining company) and Bigpoint was acquired by Youzu (an online publishing company). Jagex has been the largest independent games developer and publisher in the United Kingdom to date, operating RuneScape since 2001. Bigpoint, on the other hand, is one of the oldest companies in Germany’s free-to-play industry with a plethora of browser-based and social network games.

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:

  • The First Chinese Mobile eSports Game Conference https://nikopartners.com/the-first-chinese-mobile-esports-game-conference/ …
  • China lays out ‘Internet Plus’ policy to become a tech leader http://venturebeat.com/2016/03/05/china-lays-out-internet-plus-policy-to-become-a-tech-leader/ … via @venturebeat
  • OPPO, Huawei lead smartphone growth in 2015 http://www.yugatech.com/news/oppo-huawei-leads-smartphone-growth-in-2015/ …
  • HTC sold 15,000 $800 Vive virtual reality headsets in 10 minutes http://venturebeat.com/2016/02/29/htc-sold-15000-800-vive-virtual-reality-headsets-in-10-minutes/ …
  • NetEase Doubles Performance Over 2014 https://nikopartners.com/netease-doubles-performance-over-2014/ …
  • According to @business, China’s box office sales are growing ~34% a year – could beat Hollywood by 2017 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-25/china-could-beat-hollywood-by-2017 …
  • How Google Play could fix the frustrating, impenetrable Chinese mobile gaming market http://venturebeat.com/2016/03/06/how-google-play-could-fix-the-frustrating-impenetrable-chinese-mobile-gaming-market/ … via @VentureBeat