Crazy Rich Asian Game Publishers & Developers: Big Budget Games From the Asian Region

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Asian companies have an incredibly strong influence on the gaming industry. Many of the most well-known companies such as Sony Entertainment and Nintendo are based in the Asian region. These companies have shaped the foundation of gaming with huge amounts of monetary gain for their efforts. Unsurprisingly, there are several other Asian based developers that have climbed or are climbing their way to the top of the industry. With a knack for making addictive MMORPGs, Asian developers are nothing less than impressive when it comes to game design. Listed below are a few Asian developers that have earned more than their fair share of profits and are continuing to grow as you read.

Nexon

MapleStory, one of the biggest MMORPGs was made by South Korean game development company Nexon in the early 2,000’s. This game helped Nexon become a well-known company and has an incredible fanbase with millions of players from all over the world. Their games have been featured in tons of magazines related to anime and gaming culture since its launch, drawing many players in with its free-to-play models. Nexon has launched games such as Maple Story 2, Mabinogi, and several other international hits. Nexon’s current net income is 56.750 billion dollars. This makes Nexon one of the biggest game developers in South Korea, as well as, one of the biggest Free-to-play developers in the world. If you’re a big fan of Maple Story 2, check out their current promos here.

Nexon is also involved in partnerships with popular animation studios. This includes a collaboration that is currently ongoing between MapleStory and Clamp’s Cardcaptor Sakura, a popular series known around the world. Nexon knows just what type of players they need to target to keep their player base growing. The company has also realized just how to mix in cosmetic purchases while still providing tons of in-game rewards to make users of all types feel like they get value out of their continued support of Nexon’s products.

Level-5

Nintendo and Sony are well known billion dollar companies from Japan, but what’s more impressive are companies that have climbed their way up seemingly out of nowhere. Level-5 quickly became one of these companies during the PS3/Wii/Xbox 360 console cycle. The company’s first game, Dark Cloud was launched in the PS2 era gaining a cult following. Afterwards, Level-5 dabbled in developing many popular games from acclaimed series including Square Enix’s Dragon Quest. While the company was still lucrative, Ni No Kuni and the emergence of the Yo-Kai Watch franchise made Level-5 one of the top gaming companies in Japan.

Level-5 is now one of the ten most profitable companies with a market share of 3.2%. This is thanks to the Ni No Kuni series becoming an international hit combined with the Yo-Kai franchise going so far as to surpass Pokemon in popularity. With tons of merchandise now being made from their franchises, Level-5 have found themselves with an unexpected income source. This partnered with the Japanese fans demand more content from their franchises is guaranteed to only help this company’s profits grow. To top things off, this company hasn’t even celebrated its 20th anniversary yet.

Perfect World Games

Perfect World Games was established in 2004 with a focus on MMORPGs. The studio’s first game wasn’t published until 2006, making its success quite impressive. Since then the studio has published over 10 different MMORPG’s with a yearly net revenue of 6.2 billion. Perfect World hopes to bring more Chinese cultural influence into gaming. The company is based out of China and has now opened branches in Europe, as well as North America. The North American branch currently has 10 titles available under the free-to-play approach. The European Perfect World has a similar number of titles, with some even being available in French.

 The most well-known game from Perfect World Games is Neverwinter, a popular MMO based off of the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game. The studio also helped develop Final Fantasy Type-O for Square Enix, along with being chosen by Valve to distribute Dota 2 to the Chinese market. The growing support from international developers puts Perfect  World Games in the perfect position to be a major distributor for the Chinese gaming market. Perfect World Games may not have a hugely merchandisable franchise, but the amount of support they get from their millions of players helps them grow in profits every year.

XPEC Entertainment

While XPEC Entertainment does earn the least amount of money on the list, they just got their start in 2000. The company is on the list of Forbes “Asia’s 200 best companies under a billion” article. The company is based in Taiwan and caters to the Chinese speaking market. Last year XPEC raised their profits to 406 million, making them the top game company in Taiwan. The company has also helped develop the artwork for over 150 titles. This has helped XPEC create relationships with game publishers from all over the world.

The company published their first game in 2001, Kingdom of Chaos. Since launching their first browser game the company has gone on to work with the iconic brand Sanrio to develop a Hello Kitty game and even helped develop Kung Fu Panda. The company’s most recent triumph was developing Final Fantasy XIV, one of the most anticipated games in the series. They also have started to dabble in mobile games, even publishing Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed for Android and IOS. Since developing XIV the company has seen growth in interest from publishers, in time we will start to see many more popular titles in development at XPEC Entertainment.

Growing Demands

As mentioned with almost every company above, demand for gaming around the world is continuing to grow. These companies have bloomed, making great strides to earn their fortunes by studying the business. We are thrilled to see what companies climb their way up to the top next. With international gamers becoming more receptive to Asian styled games, and the popularity of MMO’s ever-growing, it seems like investors interested in these developers can’t go wrong by putting their money in any of the companies listed above.

About the Author

Ramesh Radhakrishnan is the content lead for OffGamers.

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