U.S.-based Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase.com, the licensed operator for Blizzard's massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft on the Chinese mainland, have jointly announced that the new WoW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, will be formally launched on the Chinese mainland on August 31, 2010.
Mike Morhaime, chief executive officer and co-founder of Blizzard, said that they are thankful for Chinese users' enthusiasm and support to World of Warcraft. At present, they are making full efforts to make sure that the new Wrath of the Lich King expansion can bring first-class gaming experience to users. He said the new expansion includes some of the most exciting contents since the launch of this game and they are glad the Chinese users can soon have full access to these contents.
Ding Lei, chief executive officer of NetEase.com, said that World of Warcraft is one of the most popular online games in China. They believe that Wrath of the Lich King will be a big surprise to Chinese users. The company has made full preparation to provide quality services and support to both old and new users across the Chinese mainland.
The downloading service of the client of Wrath of the Lich King was opened on August 17, 2010. This online game requires a real-name registration of users and different limits have been set for users under the age of 18.
Chinese game company The9 previously managed WoW in China, but it saw the game taken away and given to rival NetEase.com last year. Since then, The9 has disappointed investors. Without WoW, The9 yesterday stated its net revenues for the first quarter of 2010 decreased by 95% year-over-year to CNY22.1 million. Net loss for the first quarter of 2010 decreased by 63% quarter-over-quarter but increased by 62% year-over-year to CNY75.8 million. Likewise, net revenues for the second quarter of 2010 decreased by 91% year-over-year to CNY25.4 million.