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 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 South Korea's efforts to get its games back in the China market, and the pre-launch testing of NetEase's King of Hunters...
Korean Senator turns to Chinese ambassador for help over game license issue
On June 23, South Korean Senator Yin Sanghyun revealed through social media that he met with the Chinese ambassador to Seoul Xing Haiming on June 19.
During the meeting, he stated Korean games' dilemma of being unable to get Chinese licenses, and entreated the ambassador to help solving the problem. Ambassador Xing replied, "It's hard, but I'll keep trying."
"Due to the indifference of the (South Korean) government, the Korean game industry has been trapped for more than three years because of the issue of Chinese licenses. Our games can't go to China, but Chinese games are making a lot of money here," Mr Yin said. Statistics shows that Chinese games had earned two trillion in South Korea in 2019.
Before this, the Korea side had repeatedly asked the Chinese side to resume the release of licenses to Korean games through the Korea-China exchange meeting, but failed to make a breakthrough.
Therefore, the Korean industry believes that Ambassador Xing's positive answer to the issue is of great significance - although it is only a verbal promise, far from a real solution.
Apple will remove thousands of unlicensed games in China
Following last week's report on PG.Biz, now we bring some updates about how Apple will deal with unlicensed games in China.
According to Bloomberg's June 22th report, it was revealed by insiders that Apple had told developers and publishers that any unlicensed games after the June 30th deadline will be banned and removed from the Chinese App Store.
Regarding how long it will take to remove all these games, Apple declined to comment.
Yoozoo signs the video game rights to The Three Body Problem
In last week, Yoozoo Games signed a copyright licensing agreement with Three Body Universe, getting the authorization to develop video games based on one of the most popular science fictions in China – The Three Body Problem trilogy.
The series is an alternate history where, in the first book, the Earth is awaiting an invasion from the closest star system, which in this universe consists of three solar-type stars orbiting each other in an unstable three-body problem, with a single Earthlike planet unhappily being passed among them, and suffering extremes of heat and cold, as well as the repeated destruction of its intelligent civilizations.
Early in 2015, Yoozoo had announced that many titles with the Three Body IP were planned, and the fiction writer Liu Cixin will be invited to be the cloud architect. Since then, there has been no more updates on the matter.
NetEase started the pre-launch paid testing of its MOBA game King of Hunters
On June 23th, NetEase started the pre-launch paid testing of its MOBA King of Hunters (猎手之王).
The game is set in a medieval world, and as it has been advertised, the highlighted features are horseback combat and 15v15 mode. The maps are fully 3D interactive - the players can explore multiple stories buildings, climb trees, and destroy craters, pots, and statues to get loot. In short, it’s a battle royale game fighting with cold arms.
In this round of testing, there're three maps available: desert, snow field and a 15v15 battle field.
Many Chinese gamers feel disappointed with the game. They think it's a mega cocktail game, and for a MOBA game, being able to level up by paying would make it unfair.
ROG Phone 3 will come into market in July
On June 23rd, ROG Phone and Tencent jointly announced that the new ROG Phone 3 will be released in July. Tencent has emphasized that the phone is deeply customized for Tencent games.
It's a smartphone customized for mobile games. It runs on an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset (The lone "Prime" core can ramp up to a maximum frequency of 3.091GHz), with a display of 1080 x 2340 px resolution and 144 Hz refresh rate, vapor-chamber cooling system, and a monster 6000mAh battery.
ROG Phone 2 came into market in July 2019, and is sold for ￥6999 ($1,000) currently in China.
Pokemon TCG releases new promotional film in Taiwan
This week, the Pokemon TCG released a new promotional film in Taiwan. At the same time, the update of Gen 8 Pokemon in Sword and Shield was officially announced.
The film is titled Relive Your Childhood Dream. The protagonist is played by Taiwan actor Wu Kangren - after unwrapping a package of Pokemon cards, he gets the Gengar card he wanted most when he was a child, and travels back in time to meet his childhood self. In the conversation he recalls the childhood dream of becoming a Pokemon master.