East Meets West: Mobile esports games earned $15.3bn in 2018, and Blizzard sues Chinese dev over WoW 'clone'

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

East Meets West: Mobile esports games earned $15.3bn in 2018, and Blizzard sues Chinese dev over WoW 'clone'

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

Mobile esports games earned $15.3 billion in 2018

China alone was said to have generated $5.6 billion, while a further $450 million came from Greater Southeast Asia. Esports titles on PC grossed a total of $16.1 billion, 40 per cent of which was earned in China.

Blizzard sues Chinese developer Sina Games over World of Warcraft ‘clone’

The Overwatch creator the lawsuit claimed that Sina's free-to-play title Glorious Saga is mostly copied from World of Warcraft. Following the lawsuit filing, as of August 29th Glorious Saga has been closed down. A statement was released on the game’s Facebook page confirming the closure of the title’s server.

Tencent Games sets up MENA HQ in Dubai

The Chinese publisher is looking to invest in the regional MENA market, which it sees as a growing sector. The office will be located in the Dubai Internet City technology park.

New studio Virtual Realms taps Warhammer licence for mobile MMORPG Odyssey

Virtual Realms was founded in 2016 and is based in Bangkok, Thailand. The team focuses on the development of MMORPGs, with Warhammer Odyssey marking the start-up's debut title.

Pokemon Masters launches globally on iOS and Android

The three-versus-three pokemon battler from Japanese developer DeNA includes single-player and co-op options against AI opponents, as players aim to become Pokemon champions.

Mario Kart Tour is racing onto iOS and Android next month

The free-to-play title, set to launch on September 25th, includes courses inspired by real-world cities and locations, as well as classic Mario Kart tracks. The race-tracks will rotate every two weeks.

Pole to Win launches its own PUBG Mobile esports team

Outsourcing firm Pole to Win has made the surprise unveiling of its own PUBG Mobile esports team. The new team, known as Orange Rock Esports, is made up of former Indian Tigers members and other pro players.

Weekly global mobile games charts: Playrix's Gardenscapes, Homescapes and Township bag top 10 grossing spots

Tencent's Ace Force took top spot on the iOS free download chart for the week, while Aligames' Asphalt 9: Legends (Gameloft) rose to second.

Interestingly, Rovio's Angry Birds 2 rose to eighth spot for the week, signifying a strong push for the IP in the country. Recently the Finnish developer said it would be eyeing up a China-first release for another title, Angry Birds Dream Island.

Connect directly with the biggest players in the Asian market at G-STAR, the most accessible games event in the region. Busan, Korea, November 14th to 16th November. Register now 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.