Bloomberg — Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s shopping spree on premium content from Game of Thrones to NBA broadcasts has again helped defy investors’ expectations and a slowing Chinese economy. Second-quarter sales and profit beat analysts’ estimates as the operator of the WeChat and QQ social network services splashed out on mobile games and content — including anything from anime and comics to novels.
Tech in Asia — Tencent has done it again. The Chinese social and gaming giant has for years now been one of China’s biggest overseas investors, but its most recent purchase may take the cake: the company has splashed US$8.9 billion to acquire Supercell. Supercell, the Finnish mobile game developer behind the global hit Clash of Clans, is the second-biggest mobile game company on earth according to Pocket Gamer, and it did a whopping US$2.3 billion in saleslast year.
Japan Today — Japanese video game giant Nintendo has “insulted” Hong Kong fans by neglecting their plea to retain the more familiar Chinese names of characters in comic Pokemon, activists and fans said Monday. Petitioning at the Japanese Consulate General office, about 20 people led by radical political group Civic Passion and fans of the cartoon featuring super-powered creatures sought to have the Japanese government step in and press for more respect in local culture by Japanese firms.
TOKYO — Amazon.com will hold a three-day event here starting Tuesday to forge closer ties with Japanese developers of games for smartphones. Some 90 executives from Amazon bases around the world, including the U.S., Europe and China, will mingle with Japanese developers and gain exposure to such unique cultural experiences as the tea ceremony.
Tech in Asia — These things just don’t happen, but it did. MyRepublic, an internet provider that’s in the running to be Singapore’s fourth telco, just backed a Singapore-made game on Kickstarter. It’s a small amount – US$3,600 to be exact – but it’s the symbolism that matters. The game is Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, made by Singaporean studio Witching Hour.
Tech in Asia —- Alibaba’s UCWeb, maker of UC Browser, today announced US$20 million in resources to be shared with independent and startup game developers in India. Called the 9Apps In Dev program, it will provide up to US$500,000 to a game developer. UCWeb expects to support 100 Indian gaming startups within two years.
China Tech News — China’s online gaming users reached 534 million in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 3.3%, according to the latest report from a trio of game watchers. During China’s Game Industry Annual Conference 2015, the Game Publishers Association Publications Committee of the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association, Gamma Data, and IDC jointly published their “2015 Report on the Game Industry of China”.
Times of India — BENGALURU: Mobile gaming firm Mech Mocha has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from e-commerce major Flipkart and seed-stage investor Blume Ventures. Flipkart has been active in the mobile gaming space after having backed offline gaming startup MadRat Games last year in November.
Tech in Asia — Japanese mobile gaming giant DeNA will be restructuring its operations in Southeast Asia, Tech in Asia has learned. An undisclosed number of its approximately 50 staff in Singapore will be laid off or transferred to the company’s Vietnam office in Hanoi.
PRNewswire — HONG KONG: Entertainment Gaming Asia Inc. (NASDAQ: EGT) announced today that it will release its third quarter of 2015 financial results on Monday, November 9, 2015and will host a conference call that same day at 8:30 a.m. ET. The conference call number is 800/759-0876 or 303/223-0118; please call five minutes in advance to ensure that you are connected prior to the presentation.
Digi Times — Asustek Computer was the largest gaming notebook vendor in the first half of 2015 and acquired a share of around 40% in shipments of gaming notebooks featuring Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M, 960M, 970M and 980M graphics cards, according to sources from the supply chain. Following Asustek, Lenovo was the second largest with a shipment share of 30%, mainly relying on demand from China, the sources said.
Business Cloud News — BCN has partnered with the Cloud South East Asia event to interview some of its speakers. In this interview we speak to Sherman Chin, Founder & CIO of Sherman3D. Cloud South East Asia: Please tell us more about Sherman3D and your role in the gaming industry. Sherman Chin: I started game development during my college days when I did game development as hobby projects.
Forbes — One of the signs in gaming before the floor falls out from beneath you is that of wanton excess. This year’s Tokyo Game Show had that in abundance, not from console publishers mind but the mobile gaming contingent. Yet in Japan, many feel the market has peaked so the excess was very telling. Huge mobile gaming booths erupted across Makuhari Messe, to the extent that the external halls had to be used.
Digi Times — Soft-World International, the largest Taiwan-based online game developer and operator, will cooperate with Baidu, the largest China-based web portal, to develop smartphone-based mobile games, according to the Chinese-language newspaper Economic Daily News (EDN).
Vietnam Net — The event last week attracted representatives from leading Asian game companies and publishers. Vietnamese mobile game publishers VNG, Gamota and VTC were among the top 10 mobile game publishers in Southeast Asia in term of revenue, according to App Annie, the standard in app analytics and app market data.
Digi Times — Japan-based Nintendo is planning to launch its next-generation games console in 2016 and has recently asked its supply chain partners to start pilot production in October, at the latest. The console will be manufactured by Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), but Pegatron Technology is aggressively trying to snatch some of the orders, according to sources familiar to the plan.
MSI-ASIA — The mobile gaming industry in Southeast Asia (SEA) is the fastest growing region globally, and it has reached over US$1 billion in revenues last year, reported Frost & Sullivan. Following this finding, Frost & Sullivan predicts that the revenues in SEA will surpass US$7 billion by 2019. This means that the industry would have grown at a very healthy compound annual growth rate of 48% from 2015 to 2019.
Dell’s Alienware has opened its 100th Chinese specialty retail outlet in Ningbo, Zhejiang. With a total area of 82 square meters, the new Alienware base will allow consumers to experience Alienware’s hot products such as Area51, Alpha, and new products like Alienware 13/15/17. At the same time, the store designed several special zones, including a 5v5 gaming zone, triple-screen racing experience zone, 4K curved wide screen experience zone, and living room gaming solution experience zone.
Mobile app data sleuth App Annie turned some of its voodoo toward mobile gaming trends at this year’s Casual Connect conference in Singapore. The company’s treasure trove of data and numbers on mobile apps from all over the world is an invaluable tool for companies to keep track of their market and users. It also makes for some pretty cool charts and top 10 lists.
Tencent reportedly invested USD60 million in the acquisition of a 20% stake in Pocket Gems, a start-up mobile game company in America. Tencent will gain one position on the board of directors at Pocket Gems, according to reports in foreign media. Founded in 2009, Pocket Gems is headquartered in San Francisco and the company is supported by Sequoia Capital. Its latest product is War Dragons, which was launched in April 2015. This mobile game uses Pocket Gems’ own 3D graphics technology, aiming to attract hardcore players who are willing to spend more time and money on games.
Tokyo Indie Fest 2015 landed in the Japanese capital last week, joining 100 indie game studios from across the region with 2,000 attendees for a weekend of button mashing and screen tapping. The event fittingly took place in the heart of Tokyo’s geek graceland, Akihabara, and featured games for just about every platform imaginable: browser, mobile, PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, and virtual reality. While we didn’t have an opportunity to try everything, here are six standout titles from the first Tokyo Indie Fest.
Square Enix made its reputation on console games. Its new Shinra subsidiary is working on a platform that aims to change how online gamers interact with digital worlds. Imagine playing a video game that is so realistic that the world within it continued to change regardless of whether you were playing it. Imagine a game that responds to the way you play it, devising intelligent strategies based on your tactics. The strategies of the game—perhaps its very structures and geography—would be different from one visit to the next.
TOKYO/OSAKA: Japanese videogame maker Nintendo Co Ltd forecast its long-awaited entry into smartphone games would help it double annual operating profit in the year through March, offsetting weak sales growth in its traditional consoles. Nintendo repeatedly resisted investor calls to shift focus to smartphone games to boost profitability, until it unveiled a gaming app partnership in March with DeNA Co Ltd. It said would also branch out to theme parks through a tie-up with Universal Parks & Resorts.
Everybody knows that mobile gaming is big in China. How big? Big enough that, according to a white paper released today by GMGC, China will become the top global market for mobile games by 2016. Citing data from Newzoo Global Games Market Premium, the white paper estimates that mobile gaming revenues in 2015 will hit US$6.1 billion – just below the US’s projected revenues for this year at US$6.3 billion.
Nintendo’s Creator Program has forced another YouTube away from sharing content involving the Wii U. Joe Vargas, or “Angry Joe” to the two million people subscribed to his channel, has announced he will not cover Nintendo games following a copyright claim sent from the company on his Mario Party 10 Let’s Play. Vargas isn’t alone when it comes to copyright claims from Nintendo. In fact, almost every content creator not part of Nintendo’s revenue share program was flagged, even YouTubers with under 10,000 subscribers.
After a firmware update at 11pm last night, Xbox One owners in China are reporting their consoles are no longer region-locked, according to Haogamers. Owners of Xbox Ones sold in China can now play the international versions of their favorite games. It was widely assumed that all game consoles to enter China after the recently-lifted ban would be forced to limit players to region-locked content.
WASHINGTON: Sony Computer Entertainment is buying various assets of OnLive, including 140 US and international patents for cloud gaming services. Onlive will be shutting its operations on April 30. The company is not renewing any subscriptions, and users whose subscriptions renewed on or after March 28 will be refunded. OnLive says that the OnLive Game Service, OnLive Desktop and SL Go (Second Life) will all be available until April 30.
Sinoze is most well known for mobile music game Thapster, which features Thai and international artists and has, it claims, about a million monthly active users. Today the company announced it has raised a US$750,000 round from InVent, the venture capitalist arm of Thailand’s largest telco Intouch. The funding will go towards international expansion through its second title Electhap, a music game aimed at the international market.
Just a week after Gumi confirmed that its South Korean operation was being investigated for alleged embezzlement, the embattled Japanese gaming company is bracing for layoffs. According to TechCrunch Japan, Gumi announced today that it will solicit “voluntary retirement” from 100 staff at both Gumi (Tokyo) and development center Gumi West (Fukuoka). The firm’s justification for the move is that the skill set of some employees no longer matches the company’s needs.