21st Century Business Herald, 2/04/10
Zhu Jun, chairman and CEO of Chinese gaming company The9 (Nasdaq: NCTY), confirmed that although his company has laid out a USD 100 mln acquisition framework, Hangzhou-based online game developer Firerain has yet to give a final answer.
Zhu said The9 made a small-scale investment in Firerain two years ago, giving The9 "a very small share" of the company. The9's goal at that time was mainly to gain operating rights to Firerain's first game.
Firerain GM Ning Zihai said his company had been in talks with "virtually every" major game operator since being established in 2008; only talks with The9 and Perfect World (Nasdaq: PWRD) reached the final stages.
Ning said that Firerain had essentially completed negotiations with Perfect World, but that the terms offered by The9 were too good to pass up. A source with knowledge of the situation revealed that owing to its own strong in-house development capabilities, Perfect World had initially demanded a controlling stake in Firerain, while The9, owing to its weaker development capabilities, had offered better terms.
Ning said that development of Firerain's first product was complete, and Firerain was preparing to launch the product online. "We'd actually prefer to list independently," Ning said, "so we're still in final talks with The9."