Netease takes aim at Tencent with Fever Game store launch

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Screenshot of the Fever Games website. (Image credit: TechNode)

Netease on Tuesday launched its online digital game store, Fever Games, escalating its rivalry with Tencent in the game distribution business, game media GamingGrape reported.

Why it matters: Despite tightening game approval regulations, major Chinese game publishers such as Tencent and Netease are working to bring popular titles in overseas markets to China in an effort to bolster their revenue.

Details: Currently, there are two titles available for purchase on the Fever Games website: co-op first-person shooter game “Deep Rock Galactic” and open-world sandbox title “TerraTech.”

  • The two titles are priced significantly lower on Fever Games than digital game platform Steam, where the games originally launched in 2018. Deep Rock Galactic is offered for RMB 58 and TerraTech is RMB 48 on Fever Games compared with RMB 90 and RMB 80, respectively, on Steam.
  • Users can purchase the two titles using a WeChat mini program.
  • Netease acquired monetization approvals for the two games in September.
  • In a post on its official Weibo account, Fever Games said it will focus on offering Chinese players high quality, imported single-player and multiplayer PC titles at “more competitive prices” and “with better services.”

Game approvals failed to return to pre-freeze levels last year

Context: Netease has established the groundwork for bringing popular overseas titles by investing in a number of gaming companies, such as “Destiny” and “Halo” maker Bungie, as well as Quantic Dream, the developer of “Detroit: Become Human.”

  • In August 2019 Netease signed a deal with SEGA subsidiary Creative Assembly to bring the “Total War” series to China.
  • Netease’s efforts, however, lag Tencent’s game platform WeGame, which came online in 2017 and has 70 million monthly active users as of May 2019.
  • Tencent also launched the global version of WeGame in April 2019 in an attempt to bring more Chinese titles to overseas markets.