NetEase – China gaming powerhouse reveals ambitious esports strategy

If you did not know, NetEase Games is Tencent Game’s closest rival in terms of revenue in China, also the long-term partner of Blizzard in the country. As such, NetEase recently held a media event to reveal its plans moving forward, with esports activities and games being a core focus. For games, other than Knives Out PC Plus, the rest are all mobile titles based around the battle royale genre. I could only get hold of 2 trailers out of the 4 announced. Including these in-development games, NetEase already has nearly 10 battle royale titles!

Speaking of esports ambitions, NetEase did fail before. You see, in the earlier days of League of Legends and Dota 2, NetEase developed a MOBA based on Three Kingdoms, and even has a unique map with 3 players. Despite touting millions to set up an esports platform, it never came to fruition. This time, NetEase promised to invest a minimum of USD 160 million into various functions of its esports ecosystem, such as touring over 100 cities and tournaments in over 1,000 schools nationwide. NetEase also mentioned that this esports initiative will spread to North America, Europe, and other parts of Asia. Sweet!

That is not all! Around USD 47 million will also be set aside to groom and support online streamers and shoutcasters in the form of training and lucrative annual contracts. This is part of the “AllStar” initiative to recognize all personnel in the esports industry. Do note that this multi-million project is all based around NetEase’s self-developed titles, not including Blizzard games which it is publishing. Will this work out? In all honesty, we don’t think so due to many factors, but we welcome NetEase to prove us wrong. Stay tuned!