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Round-Up: Webzen's Big Score, Thumbplay's Investment, NCSoft's Xmas

Today's round-up includes news on an important new Chinese publishing deal for MMO creator Webzen, new funding for mobile game firm Thumbplay, and some special Xmas missi...
Today's round-up includes news on an important new Chinese publishing deal for MMO creator Webzen, new funding for mobile game firm Thumbplay, and some special Xmas missions for players of Cryptic's City Of Heroes/Villains, as well as todays' product news, GameSetWatch posts and Gamasutra job postings. - Webzen Inc., a Korean developer of MMORPGs, has announced a deal with Chinese publishing firm The 9 to release Webzen's new title Soul of the Ultimate Nation in China. The exchange involved the equivalent of $13 million USD changing hands, when all factors such as Webzen's minimum annual guarantee are included. Webzen will further receive 22% of the royalty from revenues in the Chinese distribution of the game for the first three years of the game's operation. “We’re quite pleased with this first deal, which is the result of a whole lot of investment and effort,” said Webzen CEO Nam Ju Kim. “Along with China, we have also been discussing the Soul of the Ultimate Nation service with companies in Europe and other areas of the world. We are confident that we will continue to get great results." - Thumbplay, Inc., a developer of mobile content including mobile phone games, has received $7.5 million in investment capital from SoftBank Capital Technology. The investment is the second round of funding for Thumbplay, which manages the Thumbplay.com online portal. "We entertained offers from some top venture capital firms, but we quickly chose the SoftBank Capital team as an ideal investor for our company, given their vast experience in the online and wireless content industries. We welcome their expertise and guidance as we move forward," said Thumbplay founder and CEO Are Traasdahl. The SoftBank team includes Eric Hippeau, former chief executive at Ziff Davis Media, who will join Thumbplay's board of directors. - Players of NCsoft's City of Heroes and City of Villains will be able to play holiday-themed missions as competing factions from either game scheme to either ruin or save the holiday: Lord Recluse from the villain side is launching Operation Scrooge, with the heroic Miss Liberty counteracting it with Operation Holiday Cheer. Players can compete alongside either faction in the battle beginning December 15th, possibly using the new jetpack items recently introduced into the CoH/CoV community. - New additions to Gamasutra's sister website and game weblog GameSetWatch include a report on Final Fantasy XI for Xbox 360, news on Sam & Max's delectable merchandise, and information on an emerging controversy over game magazine editorial, among others. - Also updated today - product news, including Spiral Graphics' announcement of its Genetica seamless texture editor, as well as the latest Gamasutra job postings from companies including Blue Fang Games, Electronic Arts, Factor 5, Fats, Inc., Midway Games, Nvidia, Surreal Software, THQ, and Unlimited Realities.

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