Chinese online game company The9 (NCTY) says rumors regarding its negotiations over renewing control in China of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft game are unfounded.
In a statement, the company never says which rumors are unfounded, causing further investor confusion, but The9 does say it is currently in contract negotiations regarding World of Warcraft's future operations in China. World of Warcraft is important for the one-trick pony company, which said that over 90% of its 2007 revenue was derived from that one game.
And the rumors? The company is probably worried about a recent deal that Activision, the merger partner with Blizzard, consummated when it licensed a portfolio of games to The9's better-funded, better-run, and more established Chinese rival Netease (NTES). That licensing deal created blog buzz that perhaps The9 would lose its hold of World of Warcraft — the company's heart, mind, and soul.
For it's part, The9 says it "encourages all parties to refrain from believing in such rumors. The9 is actively conducting the contract extension negotiations, and will announce to the market once a final decision is made."
So investors will still have to wait for an undefined period of time to see if this is game over for The9.