E3 2016

One of the game industry’s biggest annual events, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is taking place this week in Los Angeles.

We will have more updates and analysis on the Asian-related E3 news during next week’s Niko News. In the meantime, as publishers continue to make their announcements throughout the week, we recommend checking out E3Recap to follow specific games.

World of Warcraft: the Beginning’s Massive Launch in China

World of Warcraft is the main buzzword in China’s entertainment scene this week. Warcraft: the Beginning opened in China June 8th, taking in $156 million USD in five days (for comparison, Star Wars: The Force Awakens took in $125.4 million USD during its entire box office run in China). Warcraft may overtake Fast and Furious 7 as the highest-grossing Hollywood film in China within its box office tenure. China will also greatly benefit from Warcraft’s success as Wanda Group acquired Legendary Pictures, the producer behind the Warcraft film, earlier this year. Chinese gamers have been fans of Warcraft for years, and World of Warcraft has been a Top 3 MMORPG since its launch in April 2005, when more than 100,000 people registered for the beta test in the first hour.

Six Chinese Buzzwords & Their Backstories

Social Brand Watch has a great overview of some popular Internet terms in China, along with the backstory behind the characters. For example, “shua” 刷 means “to swipe across” but in China’s Internet scene, it means more along the lines of “to browse” or “to go through quickly.”

From Our Friends at Sinocism

How China Won the Keys to Disney’s Magic Kingdom – The New York Times Disney hired former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and mounted an intense lobbying effort. In October 1998, Mr. Eisner met Zhu Rongji, who had just been named prime minister, at China’s leadership compound in Beijing. Mr. Eisner apologized for “Kundun,” calling it a “stupid mistake,” according to a transcript of the meeting. “This film was a form of insult to our friends, but other than journalists, very few people in the world ever saw it,” Mr. Eisner said during the meeting. (“Kundun” bombed, taking in just $5.7 million against a production budget of about $30 million.) Mr. Eisner said the company had learned a lesson. And he introduced Mr. Iger, then Disney’s international president, as the person who would carry on negotiations for a theme park.

Related: China’s Content Crackdown Forces Western Media Concessions – WSJ Rules barring foreign media companies from licenses to operate video-streaming services in China, and from showing content online or via cable as stand-alone brands, have been in place for several years. Recently they have been more strictly enforced. China’s regulators in April unplugged two recent entrants, in moves that showed no company is immune: Apple Inc.’s online book and movie services and a smart-TV streaming service under the Walt Disney Co. brand. Disney started the Disney Life streaming service in partnership with China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. People familiar with the matter said it was taken down in China primarily due to the ban on online or cable content under foreign brands

Singapore’s Crackdown on Internet Access for Government Employees

The new measures Singapore is taking to keep their government files secure are extreme. As of May of 2017, all computers used for official government business by public servants in Singapore will be cut off from the Internet (affecting approximately 100,000 computers currently in use). According to The Straits Times, public servants will be allowed to forward work e-mails to their private accounts if they need to. The measure is aimed to prevent potential work e-mail and shared document leakages.

Line to Launch IPO

Line, Japan’s popular messaging service app, is planning an IPO at a $5.5 billion valuation after having originally filed for an IPO in 2014. Line currently has over 50 games available and all but six of them were developed by third-party companies. Line is important to the Southeast Asian gaming region with market dominance in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia and 25% of its revenue comes from sticker sales. About 30% of revenue is from 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:

  • How Kabam self-published its Marvel mobile game in China – and hit No. 1 http://venturebeat.com/2016/06/02/how-kabam-self-published-its-marvel-mobile-game-in-china-and-hit-no-1/ …
  • THANK YOU for this kind article @womanaroundtown! Street Seens: Prophecy of an Entrepreneur – Niko Partners
  • Taiwanese Gamania Group Relocates Headquarters To Neihu
  • The Chinese Government is Setting Up Its Own Major Science Fiction Award
  • Overwatch recruits more than 7 million players in its first week
  • GungHo shares rise after a long downturn, as Tencent collaborates to launch Puzzles & Dragons in China.
  • Chinese agency appears serious about approving every single mobile game http://venturebeat.com/2016/06/06/chinese-agency-appears-serious-about-approving-every-single-mobile-game/ … via @VentureBeat