News

Activision Blizzard breaking into the Chinese market with Call of Duty Online

Posted by: Sean M at 7/5/2012 12:15 AM
Call of Duty Online is coming to mainland China following an agreement between Activision Blizzard and Tencent, one of the countries largest internet service providers. The new game will be free to play in the mainland but will take in money through micro transactions, such as purchasing new equipment and weapons.  

Apparently in production for over two years, this is a big step for Activision Blizzard, as China has one of the largest online gaming markets in the world with over 160 million gamers registered in 2011. This is also notable due to Chinas history of censorship regarding online games. Titles that were deemed "threatening (to) state security, damaging (to) the nation's glory, (and) disturbing social order" were prohibited by the government, with Hearts of Iron and Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour being the most famous examples due to their less than stellar depictions of the Chinese military. It will be interesting to see how game content has been modified in order to meet the criteria the government has set out for games within this market.  

Time will tell whether this venture into mainland China will be fruitful for Activision Blizzard, but due the ever growing market we can expect to see more companies venture into the Peoples Republic.



ACTIVISION BLIZZARD AND TENCENT ANNOUNCE
LONG-TERM STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP TO BRING
CALL OF DUTY ONLINE TO CHINA

Multi-Year Agreement Joins One of the World's Biggest Interactive Entertainment Franchises With China's Largest Online Games Platform

New Call of Duty Online
In Development By Activision Publishing
 
Santa Monica, CA and Shanghai, CHINA - July 3, 2012 -Activision Blizzard, Inc., the largest third-party interactive entertainment software publisher (Nasdaq: ATVI), and Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading Internet services provider in China  (SEHK: 00700), today announced a strategic relationship to bring Call of Duty Online to Chinese game players.

Call of Duty Online has been in development by Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, for approximately two years. Under the multi-year agreement with Activision Publishing, Tencent has the exclusive license to operate Call of Duty Online in mainland China. The game is free-to-play and monetized through the sales of in-game items.

"We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "We think China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games."

Kotick continued, "Tencent is an ideal partner for Activision to bring Call of Duty Online to China. Tencent has a terrific track record of customer-focused innovation and deep market knowledge that will be invaluable to Activision as we build great games for China. We have worked closely with Tencent to create a game with broad appeal for the Chinese market. We look forward to laying the foundation for a long-standing relationship with Tencent and to launching a new and unique experience for fans."

Martin Lau, President of Tencent, said, "We are thrilled to work with the world's premiere game developer and publisher to bring this much-awaited title to Chinese game players. We believe Call of Duty Online will attract tens of millions of loyal fans in China, and our game platform and operational expertise to run massive multi-player online games can provide strong support to deliver the immersive and highly interactive game experience to game players in China."

The new game Call of Duty Online for China will capitalize on the rich multiplayer experience that the Call of Duty franchise is known for and introduce a new gaming model designed specifically for the Chinese market.  This new model will allow players the ability to personalize their weapons, characters and equipment like never before in a Call of Duty game.  Using an in-game store, players can enhance their weapons, gear, and perks built specifically for the Chinese market.  The new game will also bring a variety of game modes and maps and features an original story told through a series of Special Operations missions based on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® universe.

About Tencent
Tencent aims to enrich the interactive online experience of Internet users by providing a comprehensive range of Internet and wireless value-added services. Through its various online platforms, including Instant Messaging QQ, web portal QQ.com, the QQ Game platform under Tencent Games, multi-media social networking service Qzone and wireless portal, Tencent services the largest online community in China and fulfills the user's needs for communication, information, entertainment and e-Commerce on the Internet. Tencent has four main streams of revenues: Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services, online advertising and e-Commerce.

Shares of Tencent Holdings Limited are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, under stock code 00700. The Company became one of the 43 constituents of the Hang Seng Index (HSI) on June 10, 2008. For more information, please visit www.tencent.com/ir.

About Activision Publishing
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc., is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activision.com.