Tencent and NetEase see non-China mobile game revenue soar 500%

China's biggest publishers look abroad as the nation's market remains unpredictable

Tencent and NetEase see non-China mobile game revenue soar 500%

Chinese publishing giants NetEase and Tencent saw out-of-country revenue skyrocket in 2018.

In its Mobile Games 2018: Disruption, Battle Royale and Hyper Casual report, IHS Market claims that combined sales earned outside of China for the two publishers hit $472 million, a 500 per cent increase year-over-year.

Both parties faced a rough year at home as China’s freeze on approvals - a block that recently took hold once more - sparked concerns that both companies' bottom lines and growth would be affected.

NetEase, however, ended 2018 on a high, with almost $3 billion in revenue for Q4. Tencent, meanwhile, had a record year for investments made - the company now holds stakes in over 700 companies.

Last man standing

IHS claims NetEase has edged out over Tencent when it comes to going global, in large part due to its battle royale successes.

Rules of Survival found a strong audience in Southeast Asia thanks to its lenient technical requirements. Meanwhile, Knives Out has become wildly popular in Japan, which now accounts for 80 per cent of its audience.

“The unpredictability of the domestic market has underlined the importance of geographical diversification, so this dramatic increase in international revenues will be well received by both companies,” said IHS games research and analysis director Piers Harding-rolls.

NetEase vice president Ken Li will be a speaker at Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019, which takes place on May 13th to 14th.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.