In San Francisco, where the games industry is attending GDC, Bethesda's fantasy title, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, garnered "Game of the Year". It was not just major studios that won, but an indie developer Supergiant Games, took home a prize for "Best Debut" and "Best Downloadable Game".
Tudou, a Internet video company in China, said it has reached 227 million monthly unique visitors in December 2011. In addition, monthly unique visitors including multiple users accessing from home, office, Internet cafes and from outside of China, have exceeded 300 million unique visitors in December 2011.
Pearl Research's January 2012 newsletter features a quick profile of Nexon. Nexon is known for free-to-play online games, selling more than 600 million in-game items annually. The prices of virtual items range from $0.50 - $5.00 each in the US and JPY 60-650 ($0.78 - $8.48) in Japan. Nexon employs 3,500 people and generated $857 million in revenues in 2010 with net profit of $265 million.
The mobile games market in China and Korea is forecasted to grow by more than 60% in 2011. Trends in the market:
- Smartphone game sales are starting to account for the majority of mobile game sales. Approximately 50% of game sales in China are for smartphones. In Korea, the percentage is higher, as 60% of mobile games are downloaded for smartphones.
China's largest fashion E-Tailer Xiu.com raised a $100 million worth of joint funds from US private equity fund Warburg Pincus and venture capital KPCB China the online retailer announced Wednesday. This marks the largest B round money raised among Chinese e-commerce sites. This is the second round fund raising for Xiu.com this year, after it won $20 million from venture capital KPCB, around 145 days ago. This time the fund was mainly invested by Warburg Pincus and jointly followed by KPCB.
Mobile games firm Digital Chocolate has agreed to acquire Sandlot Games, a casual game developer best known for brands Cake Mania, Super Granny, Tradewinds and Westward. Digital Chocolate said it can expand further in Seattle and Eastern Europe with this acquisition.
Social games companies Lolapps and 6waves, today announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement. The two companies attract more than 35 million monthly average users globally. Mr. Rex Ng will serve as the new CEO with Mr. Sethi reporting to him. The newly constructed six-member executive team will include three members of 6waves, including Mr. Ng, and three members of Lolapps, including Mr. Sethi. Following today's merger agreement, the combined company will be branded as 6waves Lolapps. It will retain offices in the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, and the UK. 6waves and Lolapps, which have both been profitable to date, will continue to function independently to focus on game publishing and game development, respectively.
NetDragon Websoft announced the availability of a Turkish version of its online game Conquer Online in countries such as Turkey, Germany, Azerbaijan and Cyprus today. This Turkish version maintains the Islamic-featured themes, such as Ramadan and End of Ramadan adopted in the previous Arabic edition, but also adds activities based on Turkish folklores, fairy tales and fables. Previously NetDragon reported that net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011 was RMB34.67 million,compared to RMB21.17 million, for the same period of 2010. The company's mobile Internet business income reached approximately RMB 6.1million for the first quarter of this year, close to that for the whole year 2010.
Changyou.com said that it will begin open-beta testing of Duke of Mount Deer, an inhouse-developed 3D fantasy MMORPG on July 22, 2011. Four years in the making, Duke of Mount Deer is Changyou's second inhouse-developed MMORPG. The company plans to spend more than $10 million marketing the title. In addition, the game introduces a "server vs. server" battle mode that brings communities of users on different servers together to fight against competing teams on other servers.