Chinese World of Warcraft
operator NetEase said Friday that its fiscal fourth quarter profits were flat year-on-year, but revenues jumped 62 percent to $189 million now that WoW
is up and running.
NetEase had taken over Chinese operations for Activision Blizzard's WoW
in June 2009, after competitor The9 lost its contract with the game publisher. But due to a licensing tangle with Chinese government regulators and server transfer issues, the game didn't launch in China under NetEase until September last year.
That makes its Q4, ended December 31, the first full quarter during which it operated the immensely popular World of Warcraft
A report from finance website the Motley Fool
said that gross margins declined to 71 percent from 88 percent a year ago, due to big royalties owed to Activision Blizzard for using WoW
. And while revenues saw a healthy spike, profits were flat at 571.8 million yuan ($83.8 million), compared to 575.9 million yuan ($84.9 million) a year ago.
A report from earlier this week revealed that NetEase WoW
director Li Riqiang resigned. The news came just after China's regulatory body the General Administration of Press and Publication approved the company's license reapplication for the operation of The Burning Crusade, World of Warcraft
's first expansion pack, in China.