New esports park in Shanghai funded by publisher NetEase

Only days after the municipal culture and tourism bureau in Shanghai announced new plans and regulations on esports arenas in the city, Chinese publisher and developer NetEase have revealed plans to build a new esports arena in Shanghai.

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This won’t be a small arena either – the project is supposed to total $725 million US Dollars. NetEase may not exactly be well-known in the West, but they are a huge name in China. Specifically, they both develop games specific to the Chinese market and publish Western games adapted for Chinese audiences, such as EVE Online and Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

This gargantuan new project is supposed to help NetEase draw even with another big Chinese publisher – the somewhat more well-known Tencent. Tencent is the company that published League of Legends and Honor of Kings in China.

Now the new esports arena they are planning has been called ‘China’s first large professional esports stadium’. While the country has plenty of facilities that can be used for esports events, they are indeed a bit short when it comes to dedicated and purpose built esports infrastructure.

The finished complex is going to include just about everything you can imagine – team building facilities, talent training facilities, game development spaces, high-tech gaming equipment and also space for other gaming businesses and organisations to move in.

The first part of the park is already under construction in Shanghai, and the project itself is projected to finish within the next few years. NetEase has claimed that its completion will turn Shanghai into an esports capital ‘within the next few years’.

That’s certainly a tall order, but with how popular esports are in China, it’s far from unreasonable – with infrastructure to support the rapid growth of the Chinese esports market, the sky really is the limit for Chinese gamers and gaming organisations.