It's halfway through April, and the time has come again for gaming companies to release their quarterly results.
In the past three months, there have been many new games launched on iOS platforms, with differing degrees of success.
Among these mobile games, NetEase's Fantasy Westward Journey, based on the company's classic PC title, has already surpassed sky-high expectations, sweeping to the top of app charts and creating waves across the entire mobile gaming industry.
As a major Internet technology company in China, NetEase has continually maintained its leading position in domestic markets by the development of Internet applications, services and other technologies. The company's achievements in research and development are well demonstrated by the many Best Game accolades Fantasy Westward Journey has received since launch.
NetEase has moreover for many years enjoyed a successful partnership with the world's most prestigious gaming company. Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, licensed from Blizzard Entertainment, is the most popular card-strategy game online today.
Despite the increasingly competitiveness of the global online gaming market, NetEase's powerful brand, robust financial reserves, diverse array of marketing platforms, and many millions of loyal gamers have combined to make NetEase the leading game developer and publisher in China.
NetEase's Fantasy Westward Journey PC client game continues to be a titan in the online gaming industry in China. The game boasts 310 million registered users, with a record of peak concurrent users standing at 2.71 million (August 5, 2012).
NetEase has achieved strong success in China for foreign-developed top game titles, giving the company great distinction.
Integral to the abiding strength of Fantasy Westward Journey is NetEase's robust R&D capabilities. Since the PC game's release over ten years ago, patches offering new items and adjustments have been released on a near-weekly basis.
Through these constant refinements, Fantasy Westward Journey has become the immortal titan of PC gaming in China. But a legend was born again on March 26 earlier this year, when the Fantasy Westward Journey mobile game was officially launched on all major platforms.
Within a mere two hours, it reached the number one spot on the top free games chart, and another eight hours later it landed first place on the top free Apps chart. The "Fantasy Westward Craze" followed on the iPad, gaining the honor of the highest rank on both the top free Apps and top grossing Apps charts.
On March 29, Fantasy Westward Journey became the top grossing app on the iPhone, and so became the undisputed champion of the iOS App Store. With the support of the 310 million Fantasy Westward Journey PC game players, and countless numbers of mobile gamers, the number of players simultaneously playing Fantasy Westward Journey reached 1 million on March 30, the first day of the official beta.
Just one week later, the game reached 1.5 million concurrent players. In the fiercely competitive arena of mobile games, NetEase emerged as the winner.
This success is no outlier. Starting from 2013, just as the mobile game market began to boom, NetEase released multiple top-quality titles that quickly reached the high end of the market.
At the end of 2013, following years of successful partnership with Blizzard Entertainment (with World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III as licensed titles) NetEase successfully obtained the license of Hearthstone, Blizzard Entertainment's free-to-play online strategy card game. Within just a year, Chinese players became the largest group on Hearthstone.
NetEase's total revenues in 2014 reached $2.0 billion in 2014.
In March 2015, NetEase Games successfully licensed Facebook's Game of the Year, Cookie Jam, and F1 Race Stars, a featured game on the App Store. On April 15, NetEase and Blizzard released the mobile version of Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft. Within a few short hours, it had rapidly become the most popular game in China's iOS App Store, boasting the greatest number of players online worldwide, and earned the title of yet another legendary NetEase licensed game.
Mark of quality
Whether developed in-house or licensed, NetEase products have been recognized by the entire industry and consumers everywhere to embody NetEase's guiding principle, "quality". Reputation and trust requires years to build up, and the golden reputation of NetEase has allowed its newest products to tower proudly above others.
In 2014, NetEase Games became the only China-based developer with two products in the iOS App Store's 2014 Games of the Year List. Hearthstone was awarded "Game of the Year" on the iPad platform, and Battle to the West was nominated to the "2014 Selected List" by the iPad platform.
Relying on certain key principles - "put the users first", "quality above all", "be an honest partner", "superior operational capabilities" - NetEase has achieved strong success in China for foreign-developed top game titles, giving the company great distinction. Sophisticated user communities cultivated over many years have ensured that NetEase is always able to provide a professional and extensive game distribution service. The combination of NetEase's robust R&D capabilities, excellent reputation for quality games, and lengthy experience in operations has led NetEase to become the most valuable and trustworthy partner in China for overseas developers.
In February 2015, NetEase released its Q4 2014 earnings, showing a sharp increase in online gaming and adverting revenue year-over year, and also an increase in profits.
NetEase's total revenues in 2014 reached $2.0 billion in 2014, a year-over-year increase of 27.7%. 2014 net profits rose 7% year-over-year to $767 million.
Buoyed by the excellent results, NetEase shares rose 7.4%, peaking at $116.23. With sales reaching RMB9.815 billion ($1.582 billion) in 2014, contributing 78.6% of total revenue, online gaming can be considered to be NetEase's core business.
In recent years, while NetEase has been achieving success in domestic markets, the company has also been actively exploring overseas markets.
It has exhibited games in the E3, GDC, Gamescom, G-Star and other international game shows, and in March participated in the recruitment fair of Massachusetts Institute of Technology for recruiting overseas talents.
NetEase continues to draw the world's attention to China, and helping new companies to access the huge potential of the 1.3 billion-strong market.
This is sponsored article from NetEase Games.