Tencent Tech, 5/10/11
Chinese game developer and operator Netease (Nasdaq: NTES) announced yesterday on the company's homepage its decision to discontinue operation of its self-developed 2.5D turn-based MMORPG Yi San Guo. Netease said that servers for Yi San Guo will be shut down at precisely midnight on July 13 this year, as well as the game's official website and forum platform.
According to the official statement, Yi San Guo is Netease's longest-running game after the company's "Xiyou" series of games loosely based on the Chinese classic "Journey to the West". With production costs for the game in the tens of millions of RMB, Yi San Guo uses a pay-to-play rather than a free-to-play model. Yi San Guo began closed beta testing with preserved player data in April.
Tang Yong, marketing director for Netease's online games division, said that main reason for terminating the game is that interest failed to reach expected levels. Tang said that Netease's gaming division sets benchmarks for each game it releases, and games that fail to meet expectations are not launched.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Rumor: Netease to Close MMO Development Studio" MD 5/06/11 issue.