Market research firm Niko Partners has been around for 19 years, offering insights into the Asian video game market over that time. Yesterday, the company released its review of the year 2020, covering the biggest trends from the last year for games and companies from China, Chinese Taipei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Many of the games and companies covered in the report have become well-known outside of their home region, particularly the first game mentioned in the report.
Niko Partners has used its China Games Streaming Tracker to great effect, declaring Genshin Impact to be a “top ten title since launch.” MiHoYo’s new title had over 15 million pre-launch registrations, and there were almost 4,000 streamers broadcasting the game, and 9.5 million viewers watching, when new character Zhongli was added on December 1.
In other news — Tencent is big. That’s no surprise to anyone, but even we were shocked to see just how much it’s growing. Niko Partners listed 31 game companies that Tencent got a piece of in 2020, triple the number it invested in the previous year. These include some well-known Western companies, such as Funcom, Yager, and Leyou, but the list is mostly smaller Chinese developers, signifying a shift in Tencent’s philosophy toward “investing in smaller companies than it typically does, and at a much earlier stage.”
That said, Tencent might be looking to make a big splash early in 2021, as Roundhill Investments is reporting that the company is “looking at a potential acquisition” of “a gaming company in the U.S. or South Korea”:
*Tencent Considering Debt Financing For Possible Gaming Deal
• Tencent is looking at a potential acquisition of a gaming business according to TMT Finance.
• The target has not been identified but it is expected to be a gaming company in the U.S. or South Korea.$TCEHY
— Roundhill Investments (@roundhill) January 21, 2021
The rest of the report deals with mobile gaming in Southeast Asia, which is on the rise, and the Indian government banning 46 Chinese mobile games, and 220 Chinese apps overall. The Indian government cited national security as a reason for the move, which Niko Partners claimed was “devastating to India’s rising stars” in esports.