Online Game Operator NetEase Prepares for "World of Warcraft'' Arrival
From The Standard: NetEase playing for high stakes
"Later this year the Beijing-headquartered company (NetEase) will release ``TianXia,'' the working title of its first-ever 3-D game, and possibly its most important single product ever."
``We have been developing [the game] for nearly two years, and in terms of graphics we think it will be the best [game] in China,'' NetEase chief operating officer Michael Tong said. ``We expect it to become at least as successful as any of the games we have now.''
" (...)"TianXia'' will be pitted against "World of Warcraft", which has taken six months to top online gaming charts in the United States, Europe and Korea.
Blizzard's mainland partner, The9.com, which completed its Nasdaq IPO last December, paid US$70 million for the license - a huge sum of money for any firm, let alone a mainland company with a short but often troubled history. Early signs are that The9.com could have a hit on its hands in China. More than 500,000 users have signed up since it started beta (pre-launch) testing to the public earlier this year."
The9 Records 500,000 Peak Concurrent Users For World of Warcraft