Wandoujia Acquired by Alibaba

Alibaba will acquire Wandoujia at $200 million. After the acquisition Wandoujia will be incorporated into Alibaba’s mobile business unit. Softbank used to be the largest shareholder of Wandoujia. In 2014, Wandoujia landed $120 million in Series B financing from Softbank, DCM and Innovation Works Development Fund. It was also then invested in by Goldman Sachs in 2014. This is considered a good deal for Alibaba because Wandoujia was valued at $1 billion in 2014 when backed by SoftBank and later Alibaba reportedly offered $1.5 billion to buy the app store. According to research company BigData-Research, Wandoujia ranked 4th at 7.1% in market share in China during Q1 2016.

Chinese Gamers to Embrace Television Screens

Thanks to VentureBeat for coverage of our new 2016 Chinese TV-Based Gaming Report, available now on our research store. “By 2020, 21.5 million people in China will play games on their television screen using a console, an over-the-top box, or app-enabled “smart” TV, according to research firm Niko Partners. In 2015, only 7.8 million people played games on their TV. Niko is predicting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3 percent over the next half decade, which would represent an enormous surge in spending.” Note: VentureBeat concluded its article by saying it will be tough for foreign companies to take a part of this growing market. Niko Partners disagrees. We think that companies that study the gamers, game hardware, and distribution network in China will be able to market TV-based games to this growing industry segment. The success of the domestic consoles could be the ticket for foreign games to acquire users, and coming to understand the price point for successful hardware sales could be the ticket for foreign console makers to take market share.

Vietnam’s Video Game Industry Recruitment Drive

Prominent names in Vietnam’s video game industry such as VNG, Gameloft, VTC and even Garena are strengthening their ties to prominent local universities through more site visits, internship and post-grad employment opportunities. Starting in April, these efforts signal the increased demand for workers, as this is an expansion beyond the traditional recruitment venues such as VTC Academy, Area Multimedia, and Aptech. Importantly, these firms don’t stress the academic performance as much but rather have a higher emphasis on foreign language abilities.This could signal the desire for these companies to expand their reach beyond the domestic markets and/or the collaboration with foreign partners in Vietnam.

Digital Content Regulators Clamp Down on Mobile Games Across Asia

We have noticed a slew of regulations and new methods of censorship spanning China and Southeast Asia over the course of the past few months. Lisa Hanson’s July 6, 2016 article for Forbes explains this further. Check it out.

The Good and the Bad of the Passion for Gaming in Chinese Internet Cafes

When it comes to describing hard-core gamers in China, “passionate” might be too gentle of an adjective. Both positive and negative components exist in this passion particularly as it relates to gamers in Internet cafés; on the one hand, the I-cafe industry is experiencing a grand resurgence thanks to hard-core gamers, becoming the hotspot to play popular team-based games like League of Legends and Dota 2, but with this resurgence in popularity has come cautionary tales of taking digital gaming to unsafe levels. Read about this trend in our latest blog post on Gamasutra.

Casual Connect USA 2016

Niko Partners is proud to be a media partner with Casual Connect USA 2016. The conference is coming up soon (from July 18th-20th) – let us know if you will be there!

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:

  • We’re excited to attend @CasualConnect in SF next week – will you be there?
  • Niko’s new report on Chinese TV-based gaming is out now. Press release here http://bit.ly/29COHvQ . Tencent and FUZE take on PS4 and XB1
  • My latest @gamasutra post: The Good and the Bad of the Passion for Gaming in Chinese Internet Cafes http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LisaHanson/20160705/276313/ …
  • My latest post on http://Forbes.com , on toughening regulations for publishing mobile games in China and Asia. https://lnkd.in/bVv8r7F
  • Tencent-led consortium to acquire up to 84% stake in Supercell from SoftBank at $10.2 billion valuation http://venturebeat.com/2016/06/21/tencent-led-consortium-to-acquire-up-to-84-stake-in-supercell-from-softbank-at-10-2-billion-valuation/ …
  • $5.5bn Shanghai Disney park officially opens – CER http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/55bn-shanghai-disney-park-officially-opens#.V2N4JVyX2UY.twitter … via @ChinaEconReview