A Brief Overview of Asian Gaming Software Companies

by: David Hunkar

Some large US-based video game developers are Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO), Electronic Arts (ERTS), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), and THQ Inc (THQI). These companies continue to evolve, developing various types of games for consoles such as Soney's (NYSE:SNE) Playstation 3, Nintendo’s (OTCPK:NTDOY) Wii, and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) X-Box. But what about foreign players in this niche industry?

Video games have become popular in many overseas countries as well. As the income level in many emerging markets such as China rises, more people are able to spend money on entertainment related activities including video games and online subscription-based games.

From a recent news article:

“China’s online game market size will top CNY 25.8 billion this year, jumping 39.5% from 2008, according to a report by market research institution WinResearch.

The nation’s online game market size has been growing at an annual compound pace of 52.5% in the recent six years from 2003 to 2009. The growth rate in 2009 is higher than the previous estimation range of 25% to 35%.

China has outpaced South Korea and grown into the world’s largest online game market. The Asia-Pacific Region snatches an over 70% share of the global online game market and the Mainland China, South Korea, as well as Taiwan rank the top three.”

The complete list of foreign software game developers is listed below:

S.No. Company Ticker Country
1 Giant Interactive Group GA China
2 Gravity GRVY Korea
3 Konami KNM Japan
4 Perfect World PWRD China
5 Shanda Interactive Entertainment SNDA China
6 The9 NCTY China
7 Webzen WZEN Korea
8 Sony SNE Japan

Chinese company Giant Interactive develops and runs online games and sells prepaid game cards. GA reported income fell from RMB231.9 million to RMB197.7 million in Q3 2009. Perfect World is up almost 10% YTD. Q3 2009 gross profit was RMB495.0 million (USD72.5 million), an increase of 8.9% from the previous quarter. Perfect World has a growing presence in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau and differentiates itself from the others through a portfolio of highly innovative games. The other two Chinese stocks listed here include Shanda Interactive Entertainment (NASDAQ:SNDA) and The9. Shanda offers many popular online games such as chess, board games, card games, mahjong and simple arcade games. Q3 2009 net income rose 44% from the same quarter in 2008.