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Business trends

Chinese developers elbow into Japan's mobile game market

As Beijing clamps down, blockbusters gain fans abroad

Chinese developer NetEase's "Knives Out" was one of Japan's top-selling mobile games in 2018. (Photo by Yoshino Sakurai)

TOKYO -- Chinese developers are capturing more of the lucrative Japanese market for mobile games, capitalizing on rising costs at their counterparts here to expand abroad as Beijing cracks down on video games.

NetEase's "Knives Out," a battle royale where 100 players enter and only one leaves victorious, boasts more than 200 million downloads worldwide. With "No Rules. Just Fight!" as the basic concept, the game's popularity stems from its real-time play and unique battlefields on eccentric deserted islands.

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