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NetEase game revenue topped $4 billion in 2016

Blizzard's Overwatch sold 5 million units, Chinese publisher says, setting a new record for "buy-to-play" in mainland China

NetEase made $4 billion from games last year, an increase of almost 62% over the previous year, with $5.5 billion in revenue earned across the entire company.

That $5.5 billion was the result of a 68% increase over the prior year, and just $1 billion less than Activision Blizzard made in the same period of time. Net profit for the year was $1.7 billion, an increase of 73% year-on-year.

The Chinese company's online games portfolio was the most valuable part of the business, then, with an average of more than 60% of revenue coming from mobile products each quarter.

In addition to the entrenched hit Fantasy Westward Journey, which now has more than 100 million registered users, NetEase also saw great success with its new release Onmyoji. It started rolling the game out in SE Asia in December 2016, and it will do the same in Japan, Europe and North America this year.

NetEase is also one of the key operators of North American and European games in China, principally through its longstanding partnership with Blizzard and a relatively new deal with Microsoft for Minecraft.

The latter relationship, which lasts for five years, is still a work in progress, but NetEase continues to see benefit from its Blizzard portfolio. Overwatch, which launched in May last year, sold more than 5 million copies in the calendar year - a new record for "buy-to-play PC client games" in mainland China.

According to documents released today, the company's market cap was $33.67 billion as of February 14, 2017. It has $5.3 billion in cash, time deposits and short term investments.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.