SuperData’s newest games market research brief is out in the wild, and it makes a rather bold claim alongside its usual rundown of the most profitable online games in the world:
Chinese companies will scoop up 1-2 western publishers a month from here on.
March has certainly been eventful on this front, with Jagex and Bigpoint both in the process of being bought out by Chinese companies. I can agree with the notion that this sort of thing might become more common because, as SuperData puts it:
China’s industrial firms are aggressively diversifying as the country’s economic growth slows. Western firms like Jagex allow Chinese companies to expand into new industries and regions.
But I don’t think I’m on board with the pace of “1-2 western publishers a month from here on.” “Here on,” by itself, extends to perpetuity, which means we’d run out of Western publishers around, oh, 2021 or so. It wouldn’t shock me to see it happen a few more times this year, but not 10-20 times over 10 months.
As for the rest of the report, the top five free-to-play MMOs (by SuperData’s standards) are League of Legends, Crossfire, Dungeon Fighter Online, World of Tanks, and Dota 2, while the top five pay-to-play MMOs are World of Warcraft, Lineage, TERA, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Blade & Soul. The next NCSoft financial report will clue us in on exactly how well Blade & Soul has done with its Western launch, and it’ll probably surge to the #2 game in the portfolio for the quarter, between that and Guild Wars 2’s likely decline one quarter after Heart of Thorns’ launch.