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.
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, 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.
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