The latest edition of Gamasutra's regular 'The China Angle' column
looks at the Chinese communist party's first casual game portal, World 2
adding a girls-only server, and a rumor of Shaolin Soccer
star Stephen Chow hustling into online games.
People.cn Crowds Into Games
The website of the Chinese communist party's official newspaper People's Daily launched a casual games channel on January 1. While every Chinese Internet portal has its own casual game platform, People.cn's games channel comes as a surprise for a news portal. The portal's game channel contains mostly flash games from overseas, mostly still in their original language - Korean. The website plans to hold a game competition in February.
Perfect World Segregating Players
Beijing based online game company Perfect World will launch a server group that is only available to female players for the international version of its 3D Chinese fantasy MMORPG World 2
. The female-only server group will be a player versus environment (PvE) world and will be less violent. Perfect World started closed beta testing for the international version on November 30, 2006.
Stephen Chow Moves Into Game Business
Chinese movie star Stephen Chow will release a new advanced casual online game named Wu Li Tou Kuai Kuai
in 2007, according to an unnamed insider quoted by Chinese game website 17173. The game will contain characters from Chow's comedies. Chow is often referred to as China's version of Jim Carrey, and has starred in films KungFu Hustle
, Shaolin Soccer
, and A Chinese Odyssey
Curse Of The Golden Flower Hexes Online Viewers
Chinese PC security company Rising warned that 30 to 40 percent of download links to Zhang Yimou's new movie Curse of The Golden Flower
contain viruses. The Trojan carried by the movie downloads steal users' instant messaging and game accounts. Curse of the Golden Flower
has recorded over 250 million Yuan in box office sales, beating out Zhang Yimou's Hero
as the best grossing domestic movie. Titanic
still has the crown as the most successful movie in China at over 350 million Yuan in box office sales.
Best Buy In China
Best Buy opened its first Chinese store in December in Shanghai. In addition to an entire floor devoted to computers and another lined wall to wall with flat screen TVs, Best Buy's China store also has a third floor for mobile handsets and a fourth for refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. Conspicuously missing are games and DVD movies.
Best Buy needed white good appliances in order to compete with local electronics superstore chains like Suning, Gome, Yolo, and Dazhong. However, with rampant piracy in China, legal software and movie sales are loss leaders and are not available in any electronics chains. A demo for Nintendo's Wii drew a large crowd, while one salesperson patiently explained to a potential customer that no, Best Buy in China does not sell any gray market goods, only legal products that have officially been launched for mainland China.
[Shang Koo is an editor at Shanghai-based Pacific Epoch, and oversees research and daily news content on China's new media industries, with a concentration in online games. Pacific Epoch itself provides investment and trade news and publishes a number of subscription products regarding the Chinese technology market. Readers wanting to contact him can e-mail [email protected].]