While there have been numerous blockbuster films that were based on video games, and vice-versa, a new trend has more recently emerged, developing video games based on popular Netflix shows.
Video game developer Action Square will be introducing a new game called Kingdom: The Blood, based on the popular Korean Netflix show, Kingdom. The video game will be both a single player and multiplayer action role playing game (RPG) that includes a conquest mode, a multi-boss battle mode, and PvP combat mode. It will also allow players to make their own characters. Kingdom: The Blood will be launched on PC and mobile.
During Netflix Geeked Week, Action Square also announced plans to offer other video games based on Netflix shows including The Queen’s Gambit, Too Hot to Handle, and Shadow & Bone.1
Meanwhile, Sony Interactive Entertainment, maker of PlayStation, continues to make solid strides to increase its footprint in the video game market beyond just consoles. Recently, the company announced that it is acquiring Repeat.gg, one of the biggest e-gaming tournament platforms in the world. Repeat.gg allows users to compete for cash prizes across online games in asynchronous esports tournaments.
Since its inception, Repeat.gg has hosted over 100,000 tournaments with more than 2.3 million participants.
The acquisition will give Repeat.gg more resources, game titles, and technology that could help the company grow significantly in the next couple of years. Steven Roberts, vice president of global competitive gaming at Sony Interactive Entertainment said that with the acquisition of Repeat.gg, the company is excited to explore more ways for players to engage in competitive gaming and increase its e-gaming offerings.2
According to Ampere Analysis, video game sales could decline this year for the first time in years. The research firm says that video game sales are expected to decline 1.2% year-over-year in 2022 to $188.0 billion.
Video game sales soared 26% from 2019 to 2021 reaching $191.0 billion. During COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, video gaming excelled as people spent more time indoors. Furthermore, next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony also helped boost video game sales in 2020.3
NetEase, Navigating China’s Video Games Market
NetEase Inc., held by the fund, is a Chinese Internet technology company that provides online services centered on content, community, communications, and commerce. The company recently released the highly anticipated game, Diablo Immortal which it co-developed with Activision Blizzard Inc. after a series of delays.
In China, video games need to be approved before they can be released and monetized by companies. Over the past year and a half, authorities in China halted several game approvals and scrutinized gaming companies among other technology firms. The regulators also introduced rules capping playing time for online games for children under 18 to a maximum of three hours per week.4
Immortals’ debut will help to relieve some of the uncertainty surrounding video game developers in China, such as NetEase and long-time partner Blizzard. Despite already earning 10 million downloads in the first week after its international launch outside China in June, NetEase expects China’s $44-billion-dollar gaming community to be the game’s largest market. Last month, shares in NetEase jumped more than 5% in pre-market trading in New York.5
HERO ETF: Diversified Investing in Video Games
Interested in a diversified approach to investing in video games? Evolve E-Gaming Index ETF (TSX Ticker: HERO) may be the right investment for you. HERO ETF gives investors access to equity securities of companies, listed domestically and globally, with business activities in the gaming industry. This ETF invests in companies involved in hardware, software and services relating to the electronic gaming industry. Learn more about this fund by clicking here.
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- Kaser, R., “Netflix’s popular show Kingdom is getting an RPG adaptation,” Venturebeat, July 11, 2022; https://venturebeat.com/games/netflix-announces-kingdom-the-blood-game-based-on-popular-show.
- Bankhurst, A., “PlayStation Acquires Esports Platform Repeat.gg,” IGN, July 18,2022; https://www.ign.com/articles/playstation-acquires-esports-platform-repeatgg.
- Browne, R., “Video game sales set to fall for first time in years as industry braces for recession,” CNBC, July 7, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/07/video-game-industry-not-recession-proof-sales-set-to-fall-in-2022.html.
- Kharpal, A., “Chinese gaming stocks jump after Beijing approves new titles in a sign scrutiny is easing,” CNBC, July 13, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/13/chinese-gaming-stocks-jump-after-beijing-approves-new-games.html.
- Huang, Z., “NetEase to Launch Diablo Immortal in China After Long Delay,” BNN Bloomberg, July 21, 2022; https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/netease-to-launch-diablo-immortal-in-china-after-long-delay-1.1794944.