After more than one year of preparation, Chinese social networking service provider 51.com has announced the official launch of its self-developed game platform, Game.51.com.
According to 51.com, this new game platform will focus on actual friend making and will first launch 18 leisure games to integrate with the friend-making function of 51.com.
In June 2008, Shi Yuzhu, chairman of Giant Interactive Group, announced plans to invest USD51 million in 51.com. At that time, Shi predicted that the combination of online games and community websites was the future development trend for the social networking site websites and the online game sector. Now the official launch of the game platform of 51.com represents a substantive step for this SNS strategy.
Pang Shengdong, CEO of 51.com, told local media that this new game platform will mainly provide chess and card games as well as puzzle games, featuring an actual friend-making function. He said different from the first-generation leisure game platforms like that of rival QQ.com, 51.com's game platform is a representative of the second-generation leisure game platforms, which pay more attention to authenticity and social communication.
At present, there are about 100 employees in 51.com's game department and most of them are in charge of products and research, accounting for one-quarter of the total employees.