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Going mobile, NetEase opens US office to become more global

Going mobile, NetEase opens US office to become more global

China-based, NASDAQ-floated publisher NetEase (NTES) is heading to the US.

Led by ex-Ouya, Blizzard and IGN eSports veteran David Ting, its new North American office - based in Redwood Shores, CA - will kick-off honing existing content for western markets.

The plan is to release multiple mobile games during 2015; a mixture of internally-developed titles, mainly core games, and third-party published casual titles.

"At NetEase, we have two strategic initiatives. One is going mobile, something that's already happening in China, and the other is to go global," says Ting.

NetEase North America's first release will be the "culturalised adaptation" of endless runner Speedy Ninja (working title); a game already released in China.

But the new office won't just be taking from its Chinese motherlode.

"We will feedback our western DNA to ensure NetEase becomes a more global company,"" Ting states.

First mobile steps

Yet, Ting admits NetEase, a company with annual games revenue of $1.6 billion and a market cap of $15 billion, has been "late to mobile".

After all, it's best known for operating Blizzard PC titles such as World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft II and Diablo III in China.

He says, though, the company's focus on metrics and small teams which have the freedom to be creative, passionate and innovative, is already producing results in China.

First game out of the new US studio will be Speedy Ninja

NetEase released 12 mobile games in 2014, with battle arena game Battle to the West, and mobile 3D action adventure, The World HD (adapted from online game Tianxia III), going top 5 top grossing.

"We make sure our metrics are solid and we're always driving a more rigorous process," Ting notes.

"When your game is LTV positive, you can get aggressive on UA, but you can't just enter a market and throw money away."

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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