ePlay Targets Chinese Market with Next Joy Partnership

- April 25th, 2019

The company is hoping to boost its audience by tapping into esports-focused Next Joy’s 100 million viewer base.

EPlay Digital (CSE:EPY) announced on Wednesday (April 24) that it has signed a partnership with Next Joy for the Chinese market in an effort to boost the audience for its platform.

The partnership with Next Joy, a company engaged in esports, gaming and augmented reality (AR), will enable ePlay to roll out its technology and games in China.

Andrew Wang, CEO of Next Joy, said that the companies are working together to build a platform for esports and mobile gaming in the region.

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“We look forward to the first results of our teams’ collaboration with upcoming ‘Big Shot’ launches in North American and China,” he said in a release.

“Big Shot,” the flagship product of ePlay, is an AR game that is said to be along the lines of “Pokemon Go,” a popular game that has touched US$2.5 billion in revenue. Where “Pokemon Go,” uses the global positioning system (GPS) of a gamer’s mobile to locate, capture and train Pokemon characters, in “Big Shot,” players find National Basketball Association (NBA) players instead.

The game lets gamers search their area for NBA players and add them into their team. Once a player joins the gamer’s team, the user can take a photo with the player and apply filters similar to the ones on Snapchat (NYSE:SNAP), all while earning points each time that NBA player scores on the court.

While no release date has been announced for the launch of “Big Shot,” ePlay said in a separate release that the two companies are working on a strategy for marketing and distribution of the game.

According to the release, Next Joy hosts esports events in China and has over 100 million viewers, which ePlay is hoping to tap into.

“Working with Next Joy gives ePlay access to the Chinese gaming market,” Trevor Doerksen, CEO of ePlay Digital, said in the release.

EPlay has stressed the importance of the 100 million viewership figure in multiple releases, as it is the viewership number of the Super Bowl.

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“Three-fourths of all esports revenues come from brands — same as the National Football League (NFL),” Doerksen said. “Brands pay for reach, so where will the biggest esports reach be in 2019?”

It has to be noted that the Chinese esports market is projected to generate US$210.3 million in 2019, according to a Newzoo report. The revenue figure puts China ahead of Western Europe for the second spot in terms of revenue, but behind North America’s projected revenue figure of US$409.1 million.

“EPlay’s partnership with Next Joy is the first step of the company’s strategic execution in China,” Philip Chen, advisor for ePlay Digital, said in the release. “China represents 38.7 percent global mobile esports game revenues on iOS and 30 percent for Android.”

Following the announcement on Wednesday, shares of ePlay were down 14.8 percent over the two day trading session. EPlay closed the trading session on Thursday (April 25) at C$0.11.

However, the stock has a “buy” ranking on TradingView with 15 verticals in favor, 10 in neutral and three against.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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