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The detective is on a mission to solve a missing person case in a deserted manor. (Picture: NetEase Games)

The biggest mobile game in China is a multiplayer murder mystery

Now NetEase wants to bring the smash hit to the West

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

China’s new mobile hit game isn’t a war game or fantasy adventure — it’s more like an Agatha Christie novel. You play a detective investigating a missing person case in a deserted manor, where you gather clues by walking through different scenes and role-playing as the killer or one of the survivors.

It’s proving to be a winning formula. Identity V, the latest smartphone title developed by Chinese gaming giant NetEase, has remained at the top spot in Apple’s App Store in China since releasing on April 2.
The detective is on a mission to solve a missing person case in a deserted manor. (Picture: NetEase Games)
Users have pointed out the game’s similarity to Dead by Daylight, an online horror game released in 2016 by Canadian studio Behaviour Interactive. In the multiplayer hit, four desperate survivors try to escape from a killer by repairing generators and collecting items.

Similarly, part of Identity V involves characters running around in search of crypto machines and passwords.

Characters in Identity V need to find crypto machines and get passwords, which are used to escape. (Picture: NetEase Games)

There’s another parallel between the two games: Both feature four survivors plus one murderer in a format known as “asymmetric multiplayer,” because it’s effectively four against one.

Still, there are enough differences to tell the two games apart. While Dead by Daylight is notable for its gory designs, Identity V showcases an animated Gothic style and features the detective storyline.

The killer is called “Supervisor” in Identity V. (Picture: NetEase Games)
Now  NetEase says it's working with Dead by Daylight’s developer to bring Identity V to the West. The game’s director and product manager will help shape Identity V when it’s released outside China, but no date has been set yet.

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