It can be difficult to get the latest news from China, given how locked off it can be for the rest of the world, but we're making it a little bit easier with our new, weekly round-up of the biggest stories from the region.
We're working with Junxue Li, CEO of Beijing-based 2D art firm Sunny Painter, to bring the most interesting news from China to you, so you can stay informed of what's happening in one of the biggest markets in the world.
This week, we're looking at several events happening in the country, both physical and digital, and the success of indie title Juicy Realm.
First press conference of ChinaJoy 2020
On May 11th, China Joy Organizing Committee held the first press conference of the 2020 event, announcing that China Joy 2020 will take place from July 31 to August 3rd, at Shanghai New International Expo Center.
This event will bring new excitements - for example, China Joy Toy Show will make its debut, and the 1st Cloud Gaming Conference will be presented.
At the convention, fixed programs include the regular China Joy Show, International Smart Hardware Show (eSmart), and Anime and Related Products Show (CAWAE). And in addition there will be exclusive show zones for indie games and desktop games.
NetEase's "I Love You" online press conference
NetEase's 2020 annual press conference will be moved online on May 20. The date is specially chosen, for 520 in Chinese is pronounced close to "I love you". The motif of this event is "I'm part of passion" (我是热爱分之一).
This is the first time the event goes online (hate to mention the cliché of Covid-19), presented on all major live-streaming platforms in China, for example Bilibili and TikTok. The players will learn first hand updates of more than 60 games.
They include games in NetEase's top 12 franchises, for example, Fantasy Westward Journey (梦幻西游手游), Onmyoji (阴阳师), and Knives Out (荒野行动). And there will be games from well-known international brands such as Harry Potter, Westworld, Pokémon, and Minecraft in the show.
And now the pre-register of the event is open at https://game.163.com/520/
Leading female centric game publisher changes name & logo
On May 8th, FriendTimes Inc. announced the change of Chinese business name, together with the company logo.
The name would be changed from "玩友时代" (meaning playmates time) to "友谊时光" (meaning friendship time).
And the new logo symbolizes flower petal and radiating rays, with a deformed capital letter "T".
Friend Time is a leading female centric game developer/publisher in China. Its hit games include Court Intrigue (宫廷计手游) and Singing for You My Whole Life (浮生为卿歌), and most of the launched titles fall into role-playing and interactive story genres.
Perfect World hit comes back to life 10 days after it shut down
Cloudy and Dreamy Songs of Four Seasons (云梦四时歌) is a turn based MMORPG developed by Perfect World and had been operated by Tencent since its launch in last May. On April 28 this year the game was shut down by Tencent. And to everyone's surprise, after a mere 10 days, the game was re-launched on May 8th and operated by the developer itself.
In the process of changing operators, all the players' data was lost, and Perfect World has come up with gift combinations to compensate old players.
The game sets in China's most prosperous dynasty Tang, under the reign of Wu Zetian, the only empress in Chinese history. And the story is a few young people's adventure into the unique Chinese devil culture (中国妖魔文化), in which objects and animals turn demonic, possessing human mind and magic power. And the graphic is a blend of ancient Chinese elements and anime style.
Juicy Realm - an indie success
Juicy Realm is a mobile shooting game, and it was released on May 4th, after getting its license in March. It's sold for fixed price ¥12, and has hit 140,000 downloads in China within only one week, occupying the top spot on App Store paid chart 10 days in a row.
The game features cute cartoon style graphics, and the enemies are emerging as fruits.
The game is developed by a two persons indie studio SpaceCan, and published by X.D.Network. V1.0 of the game landed on Steam two years ago, with lots of negative comments due to apparent flaws.
However the developer took back the game to overhaul and it had reincarnated on Switch as a dark horse one year later. Prior to its launching on mobile in China, it had become a highly anticipated game.