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Diablo: Immortal

Diablo: Immortal is a mobile MMOARPG under development by Chinese studio NetEase. Diablo: Immortal provides a persistent game world accessible from anywhere right at your fingertips!

Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Playerbase: TBD
Type: Action MMORPG
Release Date: TBA
Pros: +The first F2P Diablo experience. +Varied Classes. +Authentic Chinese gameplay!
Cons: -Limited information available. -Developed by third party, not Blizzard. -No PC client.

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CCP Games & NetEase Announce EVE: Echoes, A Mobile Spinoff Of EVE Online

In a press release issued October 19, 2018 CCP Games and NetEase formally unveiled EVE: Echoes, a mobile MMO based on the Iclandic studio's Sci-Fi MMORPG EVE Online. The game is set to release sometime in 2019.

Previously known as EVE: Project Galaxy, Echoes will be built on NetEase's proprietary graphics engine NeoX. While details are scarce at this time, it seems likely that the bulk of the development for the Android/iOS title will be done by the Chinese studio NetEase with CCP offering design and other consultation.

Despite the change in platform and key developer, EVE: Echoes promises many of the same features that have made EVE Online standout for the past 15 years: a player-driven sandbox experience where users can explore a massive galaxy, form corporations and forge alliances, plot trade routes, and take part in epic space battles. While we've been given little details on how all this will play out on a mobile device, its clear Echoes will be an ambitious project and that NetEase at least understands what EVE players are looking for.

The emphasis on social systems has, if anything, been overplayed in the official press release. The last sentence is particularly amusing:

A deep and realistic social system is also being developed which will provide players with an interconnected futuristic interstellar lifestyle.

I can't wait to see what an interconnected futuristic interstellar lifestyle looks like!

Further Reading: Official Press Release, Official Announcement Tweet

Knives Out Finds Success In Japan, Makes $24 Million In Feb

The birthplace of the Battle Royale movie has finally embraced the budding video game genre. The mobile PUBG-clone Knives Out (similar to Rules of Survival) has proven to be a big hit in Japan.

According to data from Sensor Tower, Japan was responsible for 80% of the global revenue (ex-China) that Knives Out brought in for NetEase during the month of February. Japanese gamers are the most valuable mobile players worldwide; average revenue per user (ARPU) is at $90, far above European or North American rates.

Thanks to Japan's embrace of the game, Knives Out now brings in as much global revenue, at ~$12 million, as it does domestically in China. That puts estimates of total revenue for the month of February at $24 million. This may even prove to be a low estimate since Android phones in China don't use the Google Play Store. Sensor Tower does not track individual Chinese Andoid App Stores.

Knives Out again proves how important the first mover advantage really is. NetEast beat Tencent to market with a mobile variant of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and has reaped the rewards. China is far looser with its copyright/IP laws. Some view that as a problem, but it does have the effect of dramatically speeding up development cycles.

Tencent hasn't been resting on its laurels, however. They now have two seperate mobile PUBG games available: PUBG: Army Attack, and PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield (PUBGEB.) No word yet on a Western release for the two PUBG mobile games, but Knives Out is already available worldwide. Western players have access to a very similar title called Rules of Survival.

Further Reading: Seeking Alpha Report, Pocket Gamer Report

NetEase's Net Income Up 73% To $1.7 Billion, Onmyoji Headed West "Later This Year"

NetEase is a massive company that publishes a large number of games, as well as operating within a few other businesses, but it's easy to forget just how big the company is. According to its latest financial report, in 2016, NetEase Games' annual net income totaled 11.6 billion RMB, or around $1.7 billion, which is a staggering 73.1% increase over 2015's 6.7 billion RMB. The company's annual net revenues totaled 38.2 billion RMB, or around $5.5 billion, a 67.4% increase over 2015's 22.8 billion RMB. Its gross profit totaled 21.7 billion RMB, or around $3.1 billion, a 61.9% increase over 2015's 13.4 billion RMB. 

"Online game services," in specific, was one of the sectors in which NetEase saw an increase in gross profit in 2016. It explains the increase as follows.

The increase in online game services gross profit in 2016 was primarily attributable to increased revenue contribution from the Company's self-developed mobile games such as the Westward Journey Online and Fantasy Westward Journey mobile games, Onmyoji and the mobile version of New Ghost, as well as licensed games such as Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch.

NetEase also had a particularly strong fourth quarter, which it primarily attributes to "increased revenue contribution" the mobile version of New Ghost and Onmyoji, but also notes that Overwatch and World of Warcraft helped the year-over-year increase.

It was also confirmed in the report that Onmyoji is headed to "Japan, Canada, Europe, and the United States later this year."

You can find NetEase's full financial report for Q4 2016 and "the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016" here.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.50 / 5)
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Demon Seals Mobile

Demon Seals Mobile is a free-to-play MMORPG for iOS and Android where players choose from six classes and embark on an epic journey. Enjoy a fully voiced story campaign, various PvP options, and an open trade economy.

Publisher: NetEase
Playerbase: High
Type: Mobile MMORPG
Release Date: January 19, 2017
Pros: +Six gender-locked classes. +Player-influenced economy. +Various PvP options (i.e. 3v3, 15v15).
Cons: -Limited information available.

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NetEase Games (game.163.com) Account Registration Guide

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Note: This guide is up to date as of January 9th, 2017.

Interested in trying out the latest and greatest from NetEase Games? Perhaps you're interested in trying out Twilight Spirits when it enters Open Beta and just want to set up an account in advance. Perhaps you want to try out Fantasy Westward Journey to see what all of the fuss is about. Maybe you just want to try out Revelation Online's Assassin class before it's available in the NA/EU version of the game. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to do so, this guide will walk you through creating a NetEase account, which will also work for any of NetEase's games.

Before we get started, it is important to note that NetEase's mobile offerings generally use either your Apple or Google Play account, so this guide is only necessary if you are looking to play one of the company's PC games or the PC version of a mobile title.

To start, click here to begin the NetEase account registration process. You should see the following form.

Important note: While Google Chrome will automatically translate this page, the form will break if you attempt to fill it out while the page is translated. You will need to click the Google Translate icon in the address bar and click "Show Original" in order to fill the form out properly.

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Fill out the form with the information denoted in the image above and complete the captcha. You will need to go through a verification process using your phone number. Click the blue text denoted in the image above to switch to entering an international phone number, enter your phone number, and click the blue button. The form automatically defaults to the United States when you switch to an international phone number, so you will need to click the flag with the arrow next to it and select the the country you live in if you live outside of the United States.

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You will now receive a verification code by text, as in the following image.

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Enter your verification code into the textbox next to the blue button that you pressed to have the code sent to you. If your verification code is correct, a checkmark in a green circle will appear next to the button and you can press submit to complete the registration process.

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If you have filled out the form properly, you will be taken to a page that has a large checkmark in a green circle, letting you know that you have successfully registered a NetEase account. You can now head over to game.163.com, pick a game, and start playing!

Important note: Due to the fact that you are not using an existing email address to register your account, there is no account recovery process. Be sure to write down your account information somewhere so that you don't forget it.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 3.94 / 5)
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Justice

Justice is a martial arts MMO based on the wuxia novel The Four Great Constables (四大名捕). Players can choose from 6+ classes, mastering different forms of realistic combat in a completely PvP game world.

Publisher: NetEase
Playerbase: TBD
Type: MMO
Release Date: TBA
Pros: +Choose between 3D and 2.5D perspectives. +Over six character classes. +PvE and PvP content.
Cons: -Limited information available.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.67 / 5)
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Extra Dimensional War

Extra Dimensional War is a free-to-play mobile 3D MMORPG set in a city infested with evil spirits that must be exorcised. Choose from four unique characters, each with different skills and abilities, and take on enemies in fast-paced–real-time combat.

Publisher: NetEase
Playerbase: TBD
Type: Mobile RPG
Release Date: TBA
Pros: +Four unique characters. +Quick real-time combat system. +Character and weapon enhancement.
Cons: -Limited information available. -No Western release announced.

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NetEase And Blizzard Renew Their Partnership To 2020

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Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase have signed the dotted line renewing their partnership until 2020. For you non-Chinese citizens, NetEase publishes Blizzard's library in China.

The renewed operation agreement includes Blizzard's World of Warcraft®, StarCraft® II, Diablo® III, Hearthstone®, Heroes of the Storm®, and Overwatch®, as well as new content for these games during the agreement period.

The news arrives just after NetEase decided to shift World of Warcraft's business model from pay by the hour to a monthly subscription. Imagine if you paid by the hour to play a game. I can't. The transition should generate quite a bit more revenue and appeal to players in China.

Turns out NetEase and Blizzard have been dating for the last 9 years, a healthy monogamous relationship, since NetEase first published Starcraft II in China. We can expect the lovers to be happily together for at least 4 more years.

Who knows what will happen after 2020—probably another article just like this one.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 3.73 / 5)
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Land of Glory

Land of Glory is a fantasy MMORPG with cross-platform support for the PC, Android, and iOS. Traverse and conquer a large open world as an Elf, Barbarian, or Human, taking down epic bosses for randomized rare loot.

Publisher: NetEase
Playerbase: TBD
Type: MMORPG
Release Date: Q1/Q2 2017
Pros: +Large open world for mobile platforms. +Strong focus on raid battles. +Cross-platform support.
Cons: -Limited information available.

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