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China's largest ACG video website Bilibili has invested in 15 game developers this year

By Dan
Sep. 4, 2021 updated 01:49

Since it became a publicly traded company in 2018, there has been constant debate over whether Bilibili will become the "Chinese Youtube". Bilibili is currently the largest ACG (Anime, Comics, and Games) video website in China and is seen by local video streaming industry as one of the closest platforms to Youtube.

The video website has already reached 237 million monthly active users, though still far from Youtube's 2 billion monthly active users, but it is already among the top video platforms in China. 

Unlike Youtube, a large portion of Bilibili's revenue comes from games. According to Bilibili's Q2 2021 earnings report released last month, its gaming business generated 1.23 billion RMB / 190 million USD, accounting for 27% of its total revenue for the quarter (4.49 billion RMB / 695 million USD).

 

At the end of 2016, Bilibili introduced Fate/Grand Order, a Japanese game based on the famous Fate/Stay Night franchise, which quickly opened up the market in China and contributed a lot of revenue to Bilibili for a long time. 

For a while after Bilibili's went public, mobile game business accounted for up to 80% of its total revenue, of which Fate/Grand Order's Chinese server took up 70%. That's a pretty dangerous sign for a publicly traded company. Therefore, Bilibili has been trying to "de-FGO" and diversify its revenue in the game sector in the past few years.

On the one hand, Bilibili is no longer limited to the ACG field in terms of R&D and agency. At the new product launch in August this year, there were only 5 ACG games among the 16 brand-new games that Bilibili disclosed, while the rest of them covered various genres such as martial arts, sandbox, and female-oriented games.

On the other hand, Bilibili's investment strategy in the gaming sector has also moved from ACG-focused to the broad masses and continuing to expand its investment. They spent nearly 1.6 billion RMB / 248 million USD in the gaming sector in April this year alone.

(Bilibili’s distribution of game industry: strategic investment in X.D. Network and CMGE Technology to expand the game market together)

The Chinese game companies invested in by Bilibili this year include both publicly traded game companies such as X.D. Network (owner of TapTap) and CMGE Technology (developer of One Piece and the Chinese Paladin franchise), as well as a large number of small and medium sized developers. The most recent investment occurred at the end of August, when Bilibili invested in AVG game developer Yamayuri (Developer of KarDia tou Abel and Tricolour Lovestory) with a holding of nearly 15%.

During the Q1 earnings call this year, Bilibili CEO Chen Rui said, "We are very focused on the gaming segment. We will further expand from ACG areas - where we are very strong - to high reputation areas. Just like our expansion in video content, I believe we will do great in games as well."

So far, Bilibili has invested in 15 Chinese game-related companies this year, which is more than double that of last year.