Walt Disney Internet Group and Shanda Interactive Entertainment have announced that the two companies have entered into an agreement that will allow Shanda to develop, distribute and operate an online casual game featuring some of Disney's most popular animated characters.
The game, which will be developed for a broader demographic than traditional online games, as well as China's burgeoning segment of female online gamers, will be available in China for open beta in the spring of 2007.
Shanda is one of the largest operators of online games in China, currently operating twelve online games, including seven MMORPGs and five casual games. However, the company's recent results
saw notable revenue declines, as popular titles were not replaced and a switch to 'free, pay for items' model ramped up slowly.
Nonetheless, in the first quarter of 2006, total peak concurrent users for all Shanda games in commercial service was 2.45 million and peak concurrent users for Shanda's casual games, which have broader user demographics including more female users than traditional massive multiplayer role-playing games, was 1.56 million.
"The market for online games in China is large and growing, and it was important for us to find the right partner. We're pleased to have found that in Shanda," said Mark Handler, executive vice president and managing director, International, Walt Disney Internet Group. "Disney's rich content library, combined with Shanda's capabilities as a leading online game operator, will bring a new, unique and fun experience for the online game consumer. We actively look to bring more of our content to the online interactive entertainment market in China."