Major Chinese investment house known to online gamers in the west for its stake in a number of western games, including League of Legends and World of Warcraft.

Chinese government attacks on Honour of Kings MOBA leads to child locks

You may not have heard of Honour of Kings, but that’s probably because you don’t live in China. It’s one of the most popular mobile MOBAs in the country, racking up an astounding 200 million players (50M of whom are monthly active users) since its launch in 2015. And it’s that popularity that has the government worried, with a state-owned newspaper calling the game a “drug” and “poison.”

In particular, the Chinese government is concerned that kids might be getting addicted to Tencent’s MOBA, hinting that regulations on the title should be imposed. Perhaps to get out in front of government interference, Tencent went ahead and slapped the game with a child lock. Now, kids under the age of 12 can play only an hour a day, and youth ages 12 through 18 are limited to two hours daily.

Tencent’s stock took a sizable hit from the government’s statements, falling 4% initially. The company also runs League of Legends in China and made $3.9 billion from gaming in Q1 2017. Honour of Kings will be coming to the west in September of this year.

Source: BBC, SCMP. Thanks CistaCista and Mysecretid!


Transformers Online moves to open beta in China

3Are your primary complaints about Overwatch the fact that it doesn’t exclusively star giant robots while being a Chinese-only title? Because that’s exactly what Transformers Online is; Overwatch, but starring Transformers, and it’s China-exclusive. And with the release of the latest installment in the atrociously bad film series, the game has moved into its open beta phase in its native (and only) country.

The update also includes new skins for Optimus Prime and Megatron based on their appearances in the latest installment mentioned above, which you can purchase for about $15. You can also check out videos for the skins below, although it’s worth noting that once again, this title doesn’t seem to have any plans of an import. Still, considering the usual fate of online games starring the Transformers, perhaps this is still a pretty solid success.

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Netmarble raises $2.3B in IPO while Uncharted Waters Online goes steampunk

The top publisher of online games in South Korea now boasts the second-largest initial public offering in the country’s history.

Netmarble, a Tencent subsidiary, raised an amazing $2.3 billion through its IPO this spring. The sale reached over 17 million shares at $138 apiece, helping the publisher reach a total company value of $11.8 billion. Demand was high for the IPO, which benefited greatly from Netmarble’s release of Lineage II: Revolution in Korea.

One of Netmarble’s previous properties is currently sailing into the Industrial Revolution. Uncharted Waters Online announced that is embracing steampunk and advanced firearms with its Age of Revolution: Chapter 1 update. Steam engines, gatling guns, and flamethrowers are all part of the jump to a new level of technology, and OGPlanet is offering a free beginner’s box to anyone who registers on the website with the code “xanrJdmh” (no quotation marks).


Dark Optimus Prime arrives in Transformers Online’s beta

You know that when Dark Optimus Prime shows up, things just got real.

Tencent’s team brawler Transformers Online is adding the sinister version of the Autobots’ commander with its new round of closed beta testing. The next CBT is scheduled for May 18th in China and will not reset players’ progress in the game.

With Transformers Online’s limited multiplayer focus and its current status as a Chinese-only title, is it worth getting excited over it? Well, it’s still giant transforming robots beating the crap out of each other free from the hack thumb of Michael Bay, so we’re going to say “maybe!”

Check out the new closed beta trailer below!

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Transformers Online is Overwatch with robots

In a perfect world, we’d already be playing a true Transformers MMORPG and enjoying every minute of customizable robots, on-the-go transformations, and roleplaying as slow-witted mechanical dinosaurs. Alas, our faulty world has yet to cough up such a game, and so we’re left looking from afar at China’s Transformers Online, which as MMO Culture notes, is really just a team shooter like Overwatch, only with much less personality.

Still, if you’re curious how the game functions, you can check out the following videos smuggled out from Transformers Online’s closed beta test 3. Players can choose several match modes to experience, including capture the flag, team deathmatch, and escort the payload. Because if there’s one thing that all gamers love, it’s escorting things!

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Tencent, Activision Blizzard, and EA among top-grossing game companies this year so far

If someone were to ask you which video game company was absolutely dominating the revenue charts in 2016, what would you say? Unless you cheated and read the headline, we’re guessing that Tencent wouldn’t be the first name to come to mind.

Yet this is reality: According to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, Chinese publisher Tencent has raked in an astounding $5.3 billion in revenue during the first half of 2016 alone. Even crazier is the thought that with the acquisition of Supercell, Tencent should end the year around the $13 billion mark.

This puts Tencent heads and shoulders above other online game leaders, including Activision Blizzard ($3 billion), EA ($2.6 billion), and NetEase ($1.9 billion). Not in the top 10 but climbing fast at #12 was Ubisoft, due largely to The Division driving up the company’s revenues by 193%. Other notable online public companies in the top 25 include Nexon (#11), Square Enix (#14), and NCsoft (#23).

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David Brevik becomes Path of Exile advisor

While some people were clinging to rumors that David Brevik was returning to the Diablo franchise that originally made him famous, the truth is that the man and his magnificent beard have made the journey to a different ARPG altogether: Path of Exile. His main task, it seems, is to assist with the upcoming launch of the game in China.

“Yes, David is an advisor for our Chinese Path of Exile launch. He’s working with us and Tencent,” confirmed Grinding Gear Games Lead Developer Chris Wilson on Reddit.

This news puts in context a somewhat cryptic tweet that Brevik sent out a few days ago: “For 20 years, Diablo-like games have evolved & surprised us. I’m proud to be the adviser for the game that pushes this genre to new heights.”

Source: Path of Exile, Reddit. Thanks MMOnerd!


Tencent reveals Transformers Online, a team-based Chinese shooter

Do you lie awake at night and think that what would really compete with Overwatch is a team-based shooter based on Transformers? Apparently, the brain trust at Tencent thought exactly that. Transformers Online has just been announced as an upcoming title in China, albeit with no hard release date. You can check out the teaser trailer as well as some hand-captured demo reel footage below.

The game is listed simply as an FPS by Tencent, although all of the demo footage appears to be third-person. No word on any other online frills or any sort of western localizations thus far; fans will also note that it seems to have some odd blending of styles and sizes going on, with Optimus Prime using his film design while Swindle shows up in a more G1/Animated design and Megatron looks like his War for Cybertron counterpart. You can take a look at what exists thus far below and draw your own conclusions.

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There’s a Blade and Soul prequel in the works

Blade and Soul was one of the big western imports this year, but it’s about to get some competition of its own making. NCsoft just announced that it is developing a prequel called Blade and Soul: Hongmoon Rising for a future release.

So what do we know about Hongmoon Rising? The project is being co-developed by NCsoft and Tencent Games, and while it will initially release on PC and mobile, while a VR version is being considered as well. It also appears to be using many of the same systems as Blade and Soul, including its combat.

You can watch the mesmerizing debut trailer after the break!

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ArcheAge secures publisher for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau

The reach of ArcheAge keeps spreading across the globe, as word has arrived that the Chinese territories of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau have secured a publisher. The Greater China area will be serviced by Lager Network Technologies, although there’s no date yet for when the game will launch in those areas. The operation of ArcheAge in mainland China has been conducted by Tencent since 2015.

Currently ArcheAge is gearing up to roll out its 3.0 update, which will include new races, a larger skill system, and more naval battles.

Source: MMO Culture


Monster Hunter Online’s English translation arrives

After a short delay from its original intended release, Monster Hunter Online has finally brought an English translation of the game to market.

English-speaking players (we assume that’s most of you reading this) can now enjoy this Chinese title without hiring an expensive translator to sit next to you. This translation was created courtesy of Team HD, a collective of players who had a passion for making this happen. Because it’s an unofficial patch, you’ll need to jump through a few extra hoops to make it work, but happily there’s a guide for that.

“Instead of just tossing everything into Google Translate, we’ve been putting a lot of time and effort into making every bit of text in the patch sound like a localization that even Capcom would be proud of (yes, even including puns),” wrote Team HD. “We’ve even made an installer file to streamline installing the patch for the less tech savvy hunters.”

Steparu has a look at the new English version in the following video overview.

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Monster Hunter Online’s unofficial English patch is due for release on May 30th

The good news for fans of the Monster Hunter franchise is that the Chinese version of Monster Hunter Online is pretty much totally accessible to American players. The bad news is that it’s in Chinese. (This is actually good news for Chinese fans, obviously, but English-speaking fans, not so much.) Fortunately for said fans, it looks like the unofficial English patch will be ready for use on May 30th, allowing you to enjoy the game without having to randomly guess at what things say.

Fans are promised that the new patch will translate the game in “great depth,” which should be interesting to see at the very least. Players should keep their eyes open for the patch on the release date as well as a guide to installing and using the game. It’s not as easy as just playing a localized release of the game, but that doesn’t seem to be happening with any urgency.

Source: Steparu


Tencent’s new Chinese console includes League of Legends in its lineup

If you’ve long wished to play League of Legends on a console, we’re happy to tell you that this will soon be a thing you can do. You just have to do a few things beforehand. First, learn Chinese. Second, be in China. Third, purchase Tencent’s upcoming console and set it up. Isn’t it worth learning a new language and completely uprooting every aspect of your life in exchange for being able to play the game on a console?

Note that if you’re already in China and speaking the language, this may involve far less uprooting than previously implied.

Tencent‘s new console will also include a variety of other localized Chinese titles operated by the company, including Monster Hunter Online and FIFA Online 3. No announcements have been made about the console heading overseas at this point, but there’s no certainty that it won’t be heading over, either. So perhaps one day you will be able to play LoL on a console without the aforementioned complete shift over to China, and you can sneer dismissively at the people who didn’t like the idea of having the game on a console enough to completely change their lives.

Source: MMO Culture


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