The History of Netease in Mobile Gaming

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Just a few hours ago, a gaming news website, recently reported that NetEase, a leading Chinese technology company, has decided to shut down one of its popular mobile games, Hyper Front. This news has come as a shock to many players who have been playing the game for years. However, it also offers an opportunity to reflect on the history of NetEase in mobile gaming and how it has become one of the biggest players in the industry.

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Early Days of NetEase

NetEase was founded in 1997 by Ding Lei, a Chinese entrepreneur, who was interested in developing online games for PC platforms. In the early days, the company primarily focused on developing online games for the Chinese market. Its first game, Westward Journey, was released in 2001 and became a massive success. Over the next decade, NetEase continued to develop online games, and its popularity grew.

Shift to Mobile Gaming

However, in 2013, NetEase started to shift its focus towards mobile gaming. The company recognized the growing popularity of mobile devices in China and the potential of the mobile gaming market. It launched its first mobile game, Fantasy Westward Journey, in 2015, which became an instant hit and is still one of the most popular mobile games in China.

Expansion and Success

After the success of Fantasy Westward Journey, NetEase continued to release successful mobile games, such as Onmyoji, Rules of Survival, and Identity V. These games were not only popular in China but also gained international recognition, especially Rules of Survival, which was a battle royale game that competed with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite in the global market.

NetEase has also expanded its portfolio by acquiring stakes in other mobile gaming companies such as Bungie, the developer of Destiny, and Behaviour Interactive, the developer of Dead by Daylight. In 2020, NetEase reported a revenue of $9.74 billion, with mobile gaming contributing to a significant portion of the revenue.

Challenges and Controversies

Despite its success, NetEase has faced several challenges and controversies. In 2019, the company was accused of copying the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with its game Rules of Survival. NetEase denied the allegations, but the controversy brought negative attention to the company.

Recently, NetEase faced another challenge when the Chinese government introduced new regulations on the gaming industry. The regulations restrict the amount of time children can spend playing video games, which affected NetEase’s revenue. However, the company has been adapting to the new regulations and has been developing games that are more suitable for the Chinese market.


In conclusion, the history of NetEase in mobile gaming has been an exciting journey. From its early days of developing online games for PC platforms to becoming one of the biggest players in the mobile gaming industry, NetEase has achieved great success. However, it has also faced challenges and controversies, but the company has been able to adapt and continue to grow. With its focus on mobile gaming, NetEase is likely to remain a significant player in the industry for years to come.

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