4) NetEase Games
Gaming in China is on the rise, and NetEase is at the center of game distribution across the country. The publisher has produced some of China’s most renowned and longest running online PC-client games, including Fantasy Westward Journey II and New Westward Journey Online II, as well as successful mobile variants of these titles. NetEase’s other major business venture is its partnership with Blizzard. The publisher operates the most popular online games in the country, including World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and Diablo III. In 2016, the combination of PC gaming, mobile gaming, and operating Blizzard’s online networks in China contributed 67.6% of its total revenue.
In 2016, NetEase’s strategy focused on nurturing its current stable of mobile titles, introducing expansion packs for titles such as Fantasy Westward Journey Online, New Westward Journey Online II, New Westward Journey Online III, Heroes of Tang Dynasty Zero, Revelation, and New Ghost.
For 2017, NetEase is off to an excellent start. For the three months ended June 30th, revenues for NetEase games were reported as $1.4 billion, up 46.5% when compared to the same period last year. In a conference call with investors, CFO Charles Yang noted that mobile games “remain our primary growth engine accounting for 72.4% of our online games services net revenue in the second quarter.”
NetEase forecasts the rest of the year to yield similarly impressive results, particularly because it plans to bring Minecraft to China. Beta testing has already begun.