Sina Corporation, an online media company and value-added information service provider for China and for global Chinese communities, announced today that it has entered into a license agreement with Plenus Inc. to introduce a game portal service in China.
Plenus, a leading entertainment company, offers casual games and community services through NetMarble. With over 22 million registered users and US$68 million in revenue in 2003, NetMarble is one of the most successful game portals in Korea.
According to IDC, China's online game market reached CNY1.3 billion (US$159 million) in 2003 and is expected to grow to CNY6.7 billion (US$809 million) by 2007, representing a compounded annual growth rate of over 50 percent. Currently, online game market in China consists mostly of massive multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG). However, as has been shown in Korea, over the next few years, casual games and game portal business could become an important part in the overall online game market in China. Under this license agreement, Sina will introduce the NetMarble game portal service and casual games to its vast registered user base. Furthermore, with technology transfer under the agreement, Sina will acquire the know-how to develop and deliver its own casual games. Lastly, Sina will also receive other contents and technologies including Avatar and Mini-Hompy, which have achieved strong commercial success in Korea.