East Meets West: Google restricts Huawei Android access, Gravity lifts GungHo, and Netmarble has a new flagship game

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

East Meets West: Google restricts Huawei Android access, Gravity lifts GungHo, and Netmarble has a new flagship game

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

You can gain more insights into the Asia markets on the East Meets West track at Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong on July 17th to 18th. We're also hosting a free London-based 'East Meets West' mini-summit for the games industry on Wednesday, May 29th in association with Mintegral.

EA, Unity, Soccer Manager, Huuuge Games and RiseAngle join the illustrious speaker lineup for Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong

We're delighted to share the next wave of amazing speakers from the biggest brands such as Devin Nambiar from EA, as he joins the likes of Tencent, NetEase, Giant Interactive, Super Evil Megacorp and more.

Mintegral, JoyPac, Ubisoft and Outfit7 to speak at London mini-summit

The event - which takes place in London on Wednesday, May 29th, will be a combination of relaxed networking and insightful discussion featuring two informative seminars, building up to a lively panel debate, before another chance for drinks and networking to round out the night.

Google restricts Huawei Android access

Just days after Huawei found itself on the US’s ‘entity list’ Google blocked smartphone manufacturer Huawei from some Android updates and apps.

Gravity and Puzzle & Dragons spur on GungHo sales to $318m in Q1 2019

A resurgent Puzzle & Dragons isn’t the only key driver of GungHo’s business. South Korean developer Gravity, which GungHo owns, has significantly grown its revenue thanks to the release of Ragnarok M.

For the first time since launch Lineage 2 is no longer Netmarble’s biggest sales driver

Blade & Soul Revolution, released in December 2018, made up 16 per cent of the company’s overall game revenue, compared to Lineage 2’s 15 per cent. For some perspective, back in Q2 2017 Lineage 2 Revolution accounted for 37 per cent of the company’s revenue, ahead of Marvel Contest of Champions (13 per cent).

Mixi eyes casual players for Monster Strike revival as game surpasses 50m installs

On April 24th, Monster Strike surpassed 50 million installs worldwide since its 2013 release. While the game has proven to be a multi-billion dollar hit (an estimated $7.2 billion and counting), it’s been in decline for some time, affecting the publisher's financials.

Chinese studio Code View raises over $14m for sandbox game Reworld

Code View which employs over 150 staff, aims to use the investment to support development on its sandbox game Reworld.

Animoca Brands raises $2.5 million for blockchain games platform The Sandbox

The Sandbox was created by Animoca subsidiary Pixowl and boasts 40 million downloads while receiving over one million monthly active users.

Tencent’s Honour of Kings tops the list for highest grossing mobile game globally in April 2019

Tencent’s Honour of Kings was the top grossing mobile game globally in April 2019, according to SuperData research. This was followed by the Chinese giant’s other big earner Perfect World in second before Delightworks’ Fate/Grand Order claimed third.

Report: Nippon Ichi Software unable to pay staff following Disgaea RPG technical issues

The situation at Nippon Ichi Software worsens following ongoing technical issues with Disgaea RPG, reportedly resulting in staff missing pay.

Battle royale Garena Free Fire generated $90 million in Q1 2019

Brazil players contributed the largest amount of spending at $27.9 million, which represented 31 per cent of overall spending for the quarter. Thailand followed in second at $9.9 million, or 11 per cent.

Tencent and Riot Games working on mobile version of League of Legends

Though Tencent has already found huge success in the mobile MOBA space with Honor of Kings (Arena of Valor), it's now working with Riot Games to bring League of Legends to smart devices.

Tencent acquires Malmo developer Sharkmob

The developer was acquired for an undisclosed sum, having been established in 2017 by veterans of Ubisoft's Massive studio as well as Hitman maker IO Interactive.

Publisher NetEase is bringing new original Marvel content to China and beyond

NetEase announced the partnership with the entertainment juggernaut at its Annual Product Launch in Guangzhou today. The publisher will be creating original games with Marvel for a Chinese audience and beyond.

NetEase to launch first Pokemon mobile game in China

A local version of Pokemon Quest will be made available in China, marking the first official Pokemon release on mobile in the country.

2019 Global Top Round accelerator opens call for applications

The initiative aims to support early-stage studios from all over the globe with development, publishing and fundraising expertise, as well as introductions to potential publishing partners, to help them get their businesses off the ground.

Marvelous CEO Haruki Nakayama resigns due to poor health

The company stating that Nakayama has retired after suffering from an illness for a few years and is now taking the time to recuperate.

Report: PlayStation team didn't know about Sony-Microsoft cloud technology deal

Bloomberg reports that the PlayStation team was blindsided by the recent announcement of a partnership between Sony and Microsoft on cloud technology.

Weekly global mobile games charts: Game for Peace the second top grosser in China behind Honor of Kings

Tencent's PUBG Mobile replacement in China Game for Peace has stormed the App Store chart, becoming the second top grosser for the week of May 6th, as well as the second most downloaded free title.

Head of Content

Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.