CDC Games, a business unit of CDC Corporation (CHINA), has signed an exclusive distribution license in China for the online game, The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, the official online game based on the original literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The agreement is between CDC Games and the developer of the game, Turbine, a developer, publisher and operator of online subscription entertainment in the United States.
"The Lord of the Rings is a phenomenal franchise, and the literary work has spawned a tremendous following the world over, achieving over US$2.9 billion in global box office receipts for the three films based on the books," said Fred Wang, chairman of CDC Games and independent director of CDC Corporation. "Many games have been inspired by the characters and stories set out by Tolkien, and we expect a tremendous response from loyal fans and gamers in China."
The Lord of the Rings Online is one of the most highly anticipated online game titles planned for the worldwide markets in 2007. More than 200,000 players in the United States and Europe have already signed up for its Beta Program. CDC Games and Turbine, will work together to localize the game for the China market with an expected launch in 2007.
The Lord of the Rings Online is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien. It allows players to explore one of the most famous fantasy worlds of all time, fight the evil minions of the Dark Lord Sauron, and advance their heroes by adventuring through the vast reaches of Middle-earth. Gamers can adventure solo or choose from thousands of players online to forge their own fellowships as they face the hideous monsters and fight epic battles to defend Middle-earth.
"We are committed to delivering the best online gaming experience to our players," said Dr. Xiaowei Chen, CEO of CDC Games. "With that commitment in mind, we are very excited to bring The Lord of the Rings Online to China, not only because it represents a major global franchise, but also because Turbine has developed a truly beautiful and engaging game in which players will feel like they are part of Tolkien's world. Our partnership with Turbine underscores the tremendous success, attention to detail and transparency that our operations bring to the best game developers in the world as they seek to enter the massive China market."
CDC Games also released a statement emphasizing its position as one of the largest providers of online and mobile games, without any gambling assets, in China, as a clarification to recent U.S. legislation which effectively outlaws Internet gambling in the U.S. The U.S. Congress passed on Sept. 30, 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act 2006, which is expected to be signed into law by President George W. Bush. Internet gambling is already illegal in China.
"To eliminate any potential confusion that may be caused by this recent U.S. legislation, we want to make it very clear that this will not affect our successful online and mobile games business in China nor our partnerships with leading gaming companies in the U.S. or overseas," said Dr. Chen. "We do not provide or promote any online gambling assets and all of our online games are currently marketed only in China. The focus of our business is to provide the market with the virtual world of online role-playing games, played for fun, education and entertainment, not gambling."