Tuesday, November 29, 2005

China's Shanda Adopts Free Model for Some Games

From Reuters:

"China's top online game operator, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., said it will start offering some of its titles for free, sparking a share sell-off over concerns about lost revenue."

"In an announcement on Monday, the company said it has adopted a free-to-play model for "Mir" as well as its newer "Magic Land" game, complementing its existing pay-to-play revenue model. It added it planned to gradually adopt the new model for other existing titles in the future."

"Under the new model, while gamers benefit from being able to play the basic functions of a (game) for free, they could choose to purchase in-game value-added services, including certain in-game items and premium features."

"One analyst said the adoption of a free-play model for older titles like "Mir II" was not unexpected, but that the simultaneous adoption for a newer title in the earlier stages of its life cycle came as more of a surprise.
"It will have a negative impact going forward," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity."

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