CCP Games has announced the finalization of a licensing agreement with Optic Communications to launch EVE Online, its massively-multiplayer online game (MMOG), in China by the third quarter of this year.

The opening of the China cluster follows the accelerated growth of EVE Online in the US and Europe during the past six months, and will be the first fully localized and separate game cluster established by CCP. Optic will introduce EVE Online to the Chinese player base with a large scale open beta commencing in Q2 of 2006.

CCP Games is a privately held company that specializes in the creation, development, and distribution of massively multiplayer online games (MMOG). CCP Games is headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The partnership between CCP Games and Optic Communications will open the industry's largest virtual universe to the world's most dynamic online games market. EVE Online recently set the PCU (Peak Concurrent User) world record at 25,665 users, which is greater than the total capacity offered by any other MMOG in a single persistent universe.

"The completion of this license agreement with Optic Communications marks the establishment of CCP as a world wide leader in innovative online games and recognizes the enormous potential for EVE Online in Asia," said Hilmar Veigar Petursson, CEO of CCP Games. "Their local expertise and full backing of CITIC Pacific makes Optic Communications the ideal strategic partner to enter the China market with and further accelerate the growth of our subscriber base."

Optic Communications will provide the Chinese player base with a fully localized version of EVE Online(R), which includes nationwide marketing and sales coverage, management of game system operations, and 24/7 customer support service. CCP will work closely with Optic personnel to ensure that EVE Online is tailored to meet the tastes and demands of Chinese gamers.

"Optic has distinguished itself as a first-class provider of MMOG services in a very competitive operating environment," said Magnus Bergsson, CMO of CCP Games. "Their approach manages the huge demand generated by regional consumer pressures gracefully and without compromising customer service quality, and we're very excited about the new heights that we can both reach through this venture."

In addition to setting new PCU records for virtual worlds several times since last year, EVE Online has nearly doubled its subscriber base in the past six months, and broke through the landmark milestone of 100,000 active subscribers in February of 2006.

"The staggering growth trend and expanding global influence of EVE Online continues to affirm our original design philosophy for the game and the technical achievements of our team," said Reynir Hardarson, Creative Director and founder of CCP Games. "EVE Online is penetrating further into international markets because of the immersive player experience and social interactions that our single game universe standard makes possible."

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