East Meets West: China region focus, Nintendo's mobile business analysed, and some Switch production leaves China

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

East Meets West: China region focus, Nintendo's mobile business analysed, and some Switch production leaves China

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 at Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong on July 17th to 18th.

Region Focus: How China’s big game freeze has made local developers more internationally minded

To gain a better perspective on the Chinese games market, we reached out to representatives from several heavyweights who have their finger on the pulse, including Tencent, ByteDance and JoyPac. Niko Partners also provided some key data on the local market.

E3 2019: After mobile's no-show for Nintendo, is it really all-in on the platform?

Opinion on Nintendo's current mobile plans and its no-show at E3, with some information from DeNA on how it works with partners. 

Nintendo withdraws some Switch production in China amidst US trade war

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, three sources who all work on Nintendo’s supply chain for the console claimed that production is being pulled out in some capacity, with manufacturing now shifting to Southeast Asia.

The bumper Very Big Indie Pitch heads to Hong Kong

The famous Very Big Indie Pitch is back, this time heading East as part of our Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong conference.

E3 2019: Nintendo looking into game streaming technologies

Speaking to Time during E3 2019, new Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser commented on Nintendo’s competitors such as Microsoft and Google introducing game streaming options by stating how interested he is to see how the technology plays out.

PUBG Mobile racks up 50 million daily active users outside of China

To date the title has surpassed 400 million downloads. That’s up from the 30m DAUs and 200 million download milestone achieved just over six months ago. The game was first launched on mobile outside of China in March 2018.

Call of Duty: Mobile soft-launched in India and Australia

Activision is working with Tencent and its Timi studio on the new Call of Duty: Mobile game.

E3 2019: Fallout Shelter coming to Tesla cars; sequel heading for China

Fallout Shelter Online retains the base building features that made the original so popular - with 150 million-plus downloads to date - but adds more open-world aspects.

Brawl Stars strikes 100 million downloads worldwide in six months

South Korea was the largest market for Brawl Stars, with an estimated $61 million, or 22 per cent, contributed to the overall estimated revenue of $275m.

Casual RPG AFK Arena surpasses six million players as it climbs top grossing charts

The title was only launched by Chinese developer Lilith two months ago in April 2019 but has quickly jumped up the charts. According to App Annie data, it’s become a consistent top 50 games grosser on the US App Store. On Google Play meanwhile its a top 30 grossing game.

Investor Connector at Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong - applications are open!

Brand new for 2019, Investor Connector allows anyone looking for funding for their projects in the games industry the chance to meet one-on-one with investors.

South Korea reaches one million 5G users in 69 days

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Technology confirmed the news on June 10th, after 5G was launched commercially on April 3rd, 2019. This is 11 days faster than when 4G was introduced to the nation in 2011.

One-third of all mobile downloads in 2018 were games according to App Annie

Spending across the App Store is heavily dominated by mobile, with 0.74 cents of every dollar, or 74 per cent, of the overall total going to games. From these purchases, 95 per cent of the figure originated from in-app purchases, while the remaining five per cent was picked up by paid titles.

E3 2019: Square Enix reveals new Final Fantasy mobile game, a Katy Perry partnership and Stadia lineup

Square Enix has partnered with Pop star Katy Perry to bring her likeness and a brand new original song to Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. Read about that and the other key mobile and Nintendo Switch-related announcements from Square Enix here.

E3 2019: The key Switch announcements and all the games from Nintendo Direct

We round up all the key reveals and game release date announcements for the Nintendo Switch.

Netmarble gives MMORPG Lineage 2 Revolution the battle royale treatment

The introduction of the new mode and events is likely an attempt to stem the decline in Lineage 2 Revolution sales, which recently saw it overtaken by Blade & Soul Revolution as Netmarble’s biggest sales driver.

E3 2019: Breath of the Wild sequel influenced by Red Dead Redemption 2

Speaking to IGN, in response to what games the younger staff are playing and which titles in particular have inspired the team for the new Zelda sequel, series producer Eiji Aonuma said: “Something I did hear that a lot of people were playing was Red Dead Redemption 2."

Hong Kong’s three-day Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum delves into esports, blockchain and mobile gaming

For the first time next month a three-day event called the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum 2019 (DELF) will take place in Hong Kong covering the esports, blockchain and mobile games sectors. DELF is made up of three events that include the Main Forum on July 16th, and our very own Blockchain and Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong conference on July 17th and 18th.

Weekly global mobile games charts: NetEase resurgent with four top 10 grossers on the Chinese App Store

What a difference a week makes. Following our story last week that NetEase's influence on the top 10 charts had been waning over the last few months - the Chinese publisher is now back with a vengeance.

Conference schedule revealed for Blockchain Gamer and Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong

Check out the schedule for our two-day Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong conference right here.

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.