Tencent Tech, 2/11/11
Thomas Tippl, COO of US-based game developer Activision Blizzard, revealed in the company's Q4 2010 earnings call that Activision was speeding up its expansion into mainland China, and that, in partnership with Netease (Nasdaq: NTES), it would launch a series of new games for the Chinese market. Furthermore, he added that Activision would develop its free-to-play service.
Tippl predicted that the third World of Warcraft expansion pack, Cataclysm, would be released in China later this year, further increasing the number of WoW players. Blizzard Entertainment CEO Michael Morhaime confirmed that Blizzard and Netease are preparing to launch Cataclysm in China, and jointly aim to reduce the lag time between releases in China and the rest of the world. Morhaime added that Starcraft II would be released in China through Netease.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg also said that Activision was currently developing a free-to-play micro-transaction-based version of Call of Duty for the China market.