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.
It’s all coming up Kakao Games these days.
The Korean studio received a large investment package recently that totals $131.6 million. The bundle comes from five external companies, including China’s Tencent, South Korea’s Netmarble, Bluehole Studio, Premier Growth-M&A PEF, and Actozsoft.
So what does Kakao plan to do with its newly laden pockets? The studio has its eyes on global expansion and the acquisition of other studios.
Over in its signature product Black Desert, Kakao and Pearl Abyss are preparing to roll out a new PvP server called Arsha that provides incentives for player conflict. The game is also half-off ($5) on Steam right now through February 19th.
At long last, your nightmare of having moments in the day when you might not be playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is coming to an end. At least, it is if you live over in China; the game has a mobile version there, and you can check out the mobile gameplay just below. Guess what? It looks exactly like the normal version, but with touchscreen controls. Quelle surprise. It’s also available now in China.
If you’re living this same nightmare of having a few moments of not playing the game, we’re sorry to note that there are currently no announced plans to bring this mobile version of the game to the West, as the mobile version was developed by Tencent over in China. Still, you can watch below and hope. Or just accept that you’ll have to sometimes leave the house and not be able to play. One or the other.
The easiest way to ensure that no one is really fighting over who gets to be at the top of the battle royale genre of games is to make sure you own all of them. Tencent has already picked up the most popular game in the genre for distribution in China, but now it’s teasing that it may also be bringing H1Z1 to Chinese shores, allowing players there to enjoy the shooting action of a game that at one point was supposedly about zombies.
Nothing has yet been officially announced, but there is a teaser website, and there’s a social media page on Weibo (one of the most popular social networking pages in China) managed by Tencent. It’s a sound strategy to ensure that players who jump from one game of the type to another still remain loyal to the same company, but we’ll have to see when and if the official announcement comes around.
Chinese players will soon also be allowed to play a video game about locking yourself in a box where you can scavenge for weapons and destroy your fellow players. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is being officially released in China by Tencent, partnering with Bluehole Studios to release local servers in the country and ban cheaters. Tencent has also stated that it will make adjustments to content in order to ensure that the game meets Chinese cultural standards.
You may recall that this came after some suspicion that the game would be unable to pass the Chinese censorship board, which described the title as “[deviating] from the values of socialism and is deemed harmful to young consumers.” Obviously, this didn’t turn out to block the title from its ultimate release, which makes sense considering the aggressive player growth in the country. Exactly what adjustments Tencent will make in order to appease censorship remains to be announced.
First it was the launch of its nest expansion, The Fall of Oriath
. Then it was its launch on the Xbox One
. And now Path of Exile
is rounding out an exciting and exhausting month of activity by coming to China for the first time
“For two years, we have been working with Tencent to bring Path of Exile to China,” Grinding Gear Games said. “After many months of beta testing, we are proud to announce that it has entered open beta today. Their release includes all of the 3.0.0 content and some specific changes for the Chinese region.”
The studio said that this was a “big thing” for the game’s worldwide plans, but that’s not all it’s working on: In fact, GGG is working planning its next expansion.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Legends, Elite Dangerous, SWTOR, MapleStory, Hyper Universe, SMITE, Travian Online, Diablo III, Figureheads, Pokemon Go, Heroes and Generals, Rappelz, Ultima Online, Soulworker Online, Black Desert, and Gigantic, all waiting for you after the break!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Valiance Online took everyone by surprise by announcing the launch of its investor alpha on PC for Friday, though it didn’t actually launch until today thanks to some unforeseen tech issues. “If you donated to our old website campaign or Kickstarter, you might not be in Alpha today,” Silverhelm tweeted. “We’ll be working over the weekend to get you in!” Folks who donate right now through the official site should also have immediate access.
Over in the newly launched Albion Online, developers calmly responded to criticism of its large-scale battle system, explaining the upsides and downsides of diminishing returns from zergs. (Thanks, David!)
Meanwhile, Project Gorgon promised tweaks to its Poetry Appreciation skill (<3), Saga of Lucimia demoed its Pyrography skill, OrbusVR welcomed more players to its open alpha, Shroud of the Avatar rolled out R44 and cracked down on insider trading exploits, Chronicles of Elyria posted a whopper of a roadmap, Global Adventures’ Kickstarter ends tomorrow, and Star Citizen clarified (sort of?) the number of planets it will launch with and effectively announced another 3.0 delay.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
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.
. Thanks CistaCista and Mysecretid!
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.
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).
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!
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!
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).