East Meets West: The battle to acquire Nexon heats up, and Nintendo is wary of looking greedy on mobile

Keeping up with the news from the world's most influential games market

East Meets West: The battle to acquire Nexon heats up, and Nintendo is wary of looking greedy on mobile

The Asia market has become the most lucrative and influential region in the global mobile games industry.

Companies in countries such as Japan, South Korea and China are highly successful at home and are increasingly expanding around the world through global game releases, international partnerships and M&A. These markets also offer lucrative opportunities for Western publishers.

To give you a deeper insight into this key region, each week we’re rounding up all the news from and around the web. Don't forget to keep up with the news throughout the week on the Asia section of our site.

Got any news leads about the asia market you'd like to share? Email senior editor Craig Chapple at

Nexon shortlists five bidders including Kakao and Tencent

Five companies have made the shortlist for the Nexon acquisition - which could have huge implications for South Korea’s games industry. Netmarble is not thought to be on that list - or at least fronting an offer.

Nintendo urges mobile partners to not focus on player spending

A report by the Wall Street Journal claims that Nintendo is advising its mobile development partners not to prioritise player spending in its mobile games as, according to a source from the company, it does not want to be seen as greedy. If true, it provides an interesting glimpse of the console firm’s mobile strategy and where its own priorities for its business lie.

Pokemon Go trainers have spent $2.45 billion in less than three years

Led almost completely by Pokemon Go, the Pokemon franchise has performed particularly well in Japan on mobile - the home country of the IP. Sensor Tower claims Pokemon mobile games have collectively made $725 million in the country, around 29 per cent of total earnings. It was second only to the US, where the titles are estimated to have generated $875 million. This tally does not include earnings from Pokemon Go’s sponsored locations or real-world events, which would raise revenue even higher.

How a China partnership turned Steppy Pants into a number one chart topper in Japan

Super Entertainment had big plans to bring its casual game Steppy Pants into China, but last year’s big game freeze were a significant roadblock. So instead, with its publishing partner Yodo1, the two companies optimised and pushed the game in Japan, where it become a number one hit. This article tells the story of how they did it.

Weekly global mobile games charts: Playrix's Homescapes resurgent in the US top grossing rankings

Our weekly global charts take a regular look at the movers and shakers of China’s mobile games market.

Around the web

Nexon battle puts Korea in play

Reuters offers a deeper look at exactly how an expensive Nexon acquisition might be financed and how much a deal could cost (potentially in the region of $18 billion.

PS Vita is officially dead, as Sony stops making handheld consoles and focuses on PlayStation

It’s officially the end of Sony’s last handheld console as production comes to and end and shipments have been cancelled. While some stores may continue to sell remaining stock, the news marks the end of the hardware’s lifecycle.

Localising Kenshi: A post-mortem

This insightful blog post from Natalie Mikkelson looks at the effects of localising squad-based RPG Kenshi, which contains a total word count of nearly 300,000. The Steam title was translated into Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese.

A game developers' guide to launching in Asia

Various staff at services firm Pole to Win offer various tips on releasing games across Asia.

Unity goes beyond games to cars, AI, VR

Unity is expanding its office in South Korea while also targeting industries outside of the games space. This interview with Unity Technologies Korea’s Country Manager Kim In-suk shares some insights into Unity’s performance in the country and its plans.

You can gain more insights into the Asia markets on the East Meets West track at Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle, which takes place on May 13th to 14th.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of and He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.