China / Across America

NetEase set to expand mobile games

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco (China Daily USA) Updated: 2017-03-03 11:49

Chinese gaming developer and publisher NetEase Games, which has been ranked the world's top mobile-game seller by number of downloads, will expand its mobile games business in the US this year following last year's soaring earnings on games.

The company's core business of online gaming reached $4 billion in revenue in 2016, up 61 percent year-on-year, according to NetEase's recent 2016 fiscal report.

Last October, App Annie ranked the company as the world's top mobile-game seller by number of downloads.

"Reflecting on our own growth over the years, we successfully launched a number of blockbuster mobile games, such as Fantasy Westward Journey, which is the best-selling mobile game worldwide on iOS in 2016," said Ethan Wang, vice-president of NetEase Inc.

"A few days ago, Onmyoji ranked as the No. 1 free game in Japan's App Store only one day after its Japan launch," Wang said.

"In Western countries, 3-D MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) market is big in the PC and console category, but it's not strong in the mobile category," said Riten Huang, general manager of NetEase North America and head of global publication of NetEase Games.

Huang, explained that it's hard to reapply the essence of PC and console to a mobile platform.

"The success of Fantasy Westward Journey gives us confidence to launch the game in Western countries because this game shows the ability of NetEase to operate a game for a long time," said Huang.

The game's PC title has operated for more than 10 years, and the mobile version has had higher revenue since being launched more than a year ago, he added.

Another popular game, Onmyoji, a 3-D ARPG (action role-playing game), indicates that the company can thrive not only on traditional Chinese culture, but also foreign cultures and gain new users, said Huang.

"The point is to leverage the culture to connect with people around the world and build a strong social community," he added.

The company has localized several mobile Chinese games in the US, including action game Speedy Ninja, action role-playing game Eternal Arena, and MMO (massively multiplayer online) game Tome of the Sun.

In January, the company launched Immortal Conquest, a free-to-play strategy war game that emphasizes no one path to victory.

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