About this Blog

The purpose of this blog is for my personal use. It serves as my personal diary as I investigate Chinese internet/gaming companies for investment purpose. If you have any comments or disagreement, please give me feedbacks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Sohu – TL – Game status

Was planning to continue with the Video article, but I think I need to report Sohu’s new game. I will continue with the Video article tomorrow.

TL is going to be Sohu’s flagship game. It could be a dark horse that surprises most people.

It is going into the final stage of external closed beta on April 4th, 2007. It will accept all applications and would not close the account at the end of closed beta. How is this different than open beta?

My guess is they are not absolute certain of the stability of the game and by claiming final closed beta, they could always pull it back.

They are starting to do marketing now. Since Sohu own 17173.com, it already has a very powerful marketing tool. In addition, they are letting the player select who would be TL’s spokesperson. By looking at the choice (all are the most famous movie stars), Sohu is sparing no expense. See link:

It is also starting cross promotion with Haier and Intel. It has Haier’s PC, with Intel’s CPU, running Sohu’s TL game. See link:

According to Sohu, Sohu spends 3 years and 100M (RMB) to develop TL. I believe it. Even through the graphics is not that hot, it has many features. It is a game with much playability. See the following link for some major play features:

According to the following link:
It will have 15 servers on 4/4/2007 and will be a free-to-play game.

At this point, Sohu is doing what Ntes is famous for, they take their time and effort to make great games. But Sohu is also much better in marketing.

TL is not going to be a revolutionary type of game. But it is extremely playable and fun. It graphic is not top notch. But it is acceptable and is accessible to even players with weak computer. It will most likely be a free-to-play game. In that genre, it will definitely be a top contender in the free-to-play genre.

At this point, it is too early to tell how successful this game will be. But I don’t think anybody in wallstreet has expected anything out of this game. This game could really give a good upside surprise later in 2007 and 2008. An unexpected 5 to 10 million extra revenue per quarter for a 35M/Q company will definitely surprise the street.

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