Russian internet major Mail.ru closed a long-term partnership with Chinese videogames publisher iDreamSky Technology Holdings, Reuters reported on August 1 citing unnamed industry sources.
Reportedly, the companies will be producing games for local markets and are preparing the release of War Robots in China.
As reported by bne IntelliNews, Mail.ru has been building up online gaming and cybersports portfolio for years, acquiring the developer of War Robots Pixonic for $30mn back in 2016. In 2018 Mail.ru acquired one of the largest cybersports holdings in the world Esfroce for $100mn.
In July 2019 Mail.ru has agreed to transfer a 51% stake in Esforce to Moder Pick, a company producing racing video games.
Previously Mai.ru was said to be preparing to sell Esforce. Now, reportedly, in a non-cash deal Mail.ru will get a share in Modern Pick itself, raising its stake from 3% to 19%. The whole e-sports business of Mail.ru is valued at $110mn; the value of Esforce that will be transferred is $56mn. The joint company of Modern Pick and Esforce is valued at $350mn.
The cybersports market has grown by 75% since 2016 to $865mn and could tip over $1bn in 2019, Vedomosti writes citing the estimates of Newzoo. PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts that the market could reach $1.58bn by 2022.