NetEase’s new $725m esports park in Shanghai will include facilities for ‘development, team building, and talent training’

NetEase is reportedly developing a new $725 million esports park in Shanghai.

According to a report from Technode (thanks, Gamasutra), the Chinese publisher plans to take on “rival” Tencent with the multi-million dollar complex. Reportedly already under construction, the new esports stadium – which will also include facilities “for game development, team building, and talent training” – will support the Shanghai government’s plans “to boost support for the competitive gaming sector to make Shanghai an “esports capital” within five years. 

Revealed at the 2019 China Digital Entertainment Congress (CDEC), NetEase believes the park – which will be located in Shanghai’s western Qingpu District – will become “China’s first large professional esports stadium”.

“Shanghai has world-class location advantages in terms of incentive policies, upstream and downstream industries, infrastructure, and purchasing power and habits of local residents,” said Ding Yingfeng, president of NetEase’s game business.

Tencent recently acquired Swedish game developer, Sharkmob. Sharkmob was founded in Malmö in 2017 with the view of designing a workplace “well suited for the ever-changing media landscape, capable of delivering interactive entertainment experiences for the future”. 

“We have been keeping in touch over the years, and at some point it started to get serious,” Sharkmob’s CEO Fredrik Rundqvist told MCV recently when asked how the acquisition came about. “Even though we are a very small company and they are a very large company, there is a lot of common ground in the way we view online games and the future of gaming in general.

“We really clicked on a personal level, but the business rationale is great. We get to retain creative control and at the same time we can access their vast resources and knowledge. There is so much we can learn from them, and it will speed up our evolution.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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