Linekong, the Chinese game developer best known for its Legend of King and Sword of Sky titles, has nabbed $80 million in series C funding, reports Technode. Participants in the huge round include the Asia-centric investment firms Orchid Asia, SAIF Partners, Starwish, and Profitable Century International.
According to a lengthy piece in Sohu IT, Linekong CEO Wang Fang states the funding will be used for research, pay raises, and ensuring product quality.
What’s Linekong exactly? Founded in 2008, it’s a company that develops RPGs, MMORPGs, ARPGs – games with dragons and sorcerers and stuff. While to some it might appear like a niche market, this genre of games can make for big business. Action RPGs are the most preferred genre among Chinese PC gamers, and 64 percent of gamers report spending money on a game every month.
Most Chinese gamers to date continue to use the PC to get their gaming fix, but Linekong expects that to change. In April of this year, the company rebranded itself from a “game developer” to a “mobile game developer,” even going so far as to hang banners in its offices proclaiming “Please call us a mobile games company!” Sohu IT states that for 2014, the company intends to release 15 new titles, most of which will be in the dungeons-sorcerer RPG vein, with one or two “leisure” games (think Candy Crush Saga) tossed in. All of the titles will be released on mobile.
Chinese online game operators are estimated to bring in over RMB 97.8 billion (about $16 billion) in revenues this coming year. Just this week a report from Super Data research revealed that Tencent’s first-person shooter game Crossfire brought in global revenues of $957 million throughout 2013, about three times that of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft.
(Editing by Steven Millward)
(Image credit via Flickr user hendry)