NetEase Bets Big on New Martial Arts Games Inspired by Jin Yong

Things seem to be looking up after a long dry spell for China’s video game industry, and major player NetEase is seizing the opportunity to release new titles

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5:31 AM HKT, Thu May 25, 2023 1 mins read

This article by Jessie Wu was originally published by TechNode. It has been edited and re-posted here with permission.

NetEase Games unveiled 11 new games and updated 35 existing titles at its annual product launch event, held online on May 20. Particularly notable among them were two new wuxia (martial arts adventure) games — Justice and She Diao — based on classic novels by renowned authors Woon Swee Oan and Jin Yong.

In recent years, wuxia games have become a hugely popular genre in China. NetEase is also looking to bring some of its most successful games to international markets and to emulate the recent success of Eggy Party, which saw the highest number of daily active users in NetEase history in February. To increase its global appeal, the event was also streamed in English and Japanese via YouTube and Twitter.

NetEase has invested 800 million RMB (around 114 million USD) over the last four years into the development of Justice, an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) wuxia title.

Set in a world of martial arts, magic, and ancient Chinese mythology, Justice sends players on a journey to uncover the truth behind a great conspiracy and fight their way through hordes of enemies. The game is based on the famous wuxia literature works of writer Woon Swee Oan (also known as Wen Rui’an).

Justice is being billed as having the first intelligent NPC (non-player character) system in China’s gaming industry. Players can interact with AI-controlled NPCs as they explore the game’s world.

The game will be launched on June 30, with the number of pre-registration players already exceeding 30 million.

Another anticipated open-world wuxia game is She Diao, which is based on the famous martial arts novel The Legend of The Condor Heroes, written by Jin Yong. According to NetEase, the game uses classic characters and novel plots, and allows players to explore the landscape of the Song Dynasty with a suite of exclusive martial arts moves. A release date for She Diao has not yet been announced.

Other new game titles released in the event are real-time simulation racing game Racing Master, role-playing game Raid: Shadow Legends, open-world fantasy game Qi Feng Travelers, competitive survival shooter game Badlanders, basketball game Dunk City Dynasty, 2v4 competitive stealth game Mission Zero, multiplayer online role-playing game Lord of Dragon, geo-strategic simulation game Infinite Borders, and post-apocalyptic shooter game Ashfall.

NetEase’s net revenues from games and related value-added services were RMB 74.6 billion ($10.8 billion) in 2022, compared with RMB 67.8 billion ($9.64 billion) the year before, representing a 10% yearly increase, according to its fourth-quarter financial report.

In March 2023, Eggy Party demonstrated huge potential by becoming the 18th highest-revenue mobile game globally despite still only being available in the China market.

Eggy Party is a casual game for mobile devices that involves competing against other players to reach the end of each stage while avoiding various obstacles. The game earned nearly $30 million in March, which helped NetEase become the second biggest Chinese mobile game publisher by revenue, according to Sensor Tower.

Recently, NetEase announced the overseas launch of Eggy Party on April 21, starting in the Philippines, with more regions and platforms to follow this year.

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