Taiwanese video game developer Soft-World International Corp (智冠科技) is targeting the Chinese Internet protocol television (IPTV) market this year, which has seen a surge in subscribers since 2011.
“China’s IPTV market is the next growth driver for Soft-World,” general manager Chung Hsing-po (鍾興博) told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of an investors’ conference.
IPTV subscribers in China jumped from 13.5 million in 2011 to 33.4 million last year and the number is expected to reach more than 40 million by the end of this year, Chung said, citing data from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Soft-World, which developed the martial arts role-playing video game Huang Yi Online (黃易群俠傳), on Thursday said that it has partnered with Chinese IPTV broadcast network operators to install educational, puzzle and board games in set-top boxes, beginning this quarter.
“Our goal is to bring Soft-World games to every living room via IPTV,” Chung said.
Soft-World’s IPTV business is set to start generating revenue this quarter and become a significant source of profit next year, Chung said, without elaborating.
Soft-World is the nation’s top online video game developer by sales and is involved in upstream game development, midstream service provision and downstream distribution.
The company’s net profits rose 36.32 percent to NT$520.56 million (US$16.63 million) last year from NT$381.85 million the previous year, with earnings per share of NT$4.09.
Consolidated sales totaled NT$14.99 billion last year, up 35.73 percent from the previous year.
Chung said the firm is upbeat about its new role-playing mobile game, featuring the same character as Huang Yi Online, which is due to be launched this month.
“We expect to see more gamers go for this mobile game on the back of the popularity of Huang Yi Online,” he said.
Mobile games generally have higher margins than online games and the company plans to launch more mobile games to cash in on the high penetration rate of smartphones.
A popular mobile game in China can generate revenue of between NT$50 million and NT$60 million per month for at least six months, Chung said.
Last year, the company’s mobile game business saw sales of NT$6.14 billion, representing 41 percent of total sales, with the sales contribution this year expected to keep growing on the back of new mobile game launches, he said.
The company’s annual sales this year are forecast to grow by a double-digit percentage from last year, fueled by the planned launches of at least 13 mobile, PC and browser games, he added.
Separately, Chung said Soft-World subsidiary Pay2Go Technology Corp (智付寶) would raise NT$500 million this month and file an application with the Financial Supervisory Commission next month for permission to provide third-party payment services.
“We expect to receive a license this August and we hope the value of transactions via Pay2Go can reach NT$100 million within a year,” Chung said.
After last year’s strong performance, the company’s board decided to pay a NT$2.3 cash dividend to shareholders.
The proposed dividend represents a payout ratio of 56.23 percent and the yield is 2.57 percent, based on the company’s closing share price of NT$89.4 on Thursday.
The stock has declined 10.6 percent since the beginning of the year, while the over-the-counter benchmark index has increased 2.51 percent over the same period.
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