Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Microsoft to Launch Minecraft in China

By Evan Niu, CFA - May 20, 2016 at 2:22PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The popular building game is coming to the Middle Kingdom.

Image source: Mojang.

What happened?

Microsoft's (MSFT 1.07%) Mojang has announced that it is bringing its popular Minecraft game to mainland China. The company has partnered with NetEase (NTES 0.12%) to launch the game in the Middle Kingdom with an exclusive agreement to license Minecraft to a NetEase affiliate. Mojang says it will develop a version of Minecraft that is localized and tailored for the Chinese market.

Does it matter?

Generally speaking, China has always been a tough geographical market for Microsoft to succeed in, due largely to high software piracy rates around its flagship products like Windows and Office. But the gaming market in China is extremely large, making it worthwhile to find new distribution methods. That's why partnering with a Chinese company like NetEase makes sense, since NetEase understands the Chinese market better.

Last year, China ended its 15-year ban on video game consoles, which opened up a lot of potential for Microsoft's Xbox One. However, console sales have been reportedly low since China is primarily a PC gaming market. Still, China is the largest smartphone market in the world now, and launching Minecraft in China will give the software giant a shot at the growing mobile gaming market.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$259.58 (1.07%) $2.75
NetEase, Inc. Stock Quote
NetEase, Inc.
$93.47 (0.12%) $0.11

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.