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.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

SOHU – TL – Open Beta

My previous post on TL is here:


TL just keeps on surprising me. From the “Final Closed Beta” (which is really the open beta) on 4/4/2007, it started out with 16 servers. It continues on growing and went all the way to a total of 103 servers on 5/8/2007. Most games would have started to peak after few weeks. It is doubly surprising considering that NCTY’s SUN went into open beta on 4/18/2007.

But what is truly surprising happened yesterday. Yesterday (5/9/2007) is the date of the official “Open Beta” for TL. Netease planned to add 10 more servers. But the servers were overwhelmed. Netease eventually added 24 more servers in one day. See the following link:


It is not surprising that a game has big jump in the number of game players for an open beta. But it is surprising that a game has big jump for a second open beta.

As of today, TL has 127 servers. With the maximum capacity of each server at 5200 players, I would conservatively estimate a PCU = 550k.

One thing that bugs me is that Sohu is not advertising its PCU number. Usually, game companies would have broadcast the PCU number to build up the hype.

But I am pretty sure this is a very popular game. There are a lot of players everywhere you go and players were still complaining to being too crowded and asking for new servers.

Maybe Sohu did change to a low-key company. The Sohu of a year ago would have the CEO and other senior management in the news pushing the story. Well, the CEO of Sohu is climbing the high mountains for Sohu's Olympics events. Maybe that has something to do with the low profile.

It is interesting to see if TL will just keep on going up. I do expect that they will add a few servers before this weekend. But the key to see if TL is still growing is if they are still adding servers the next few weeks. Another key point is if they will lose a lot of users after commercial operation (free-to-play games don’t usually lose as much players as Paying games right after commercial operation).

From the game players comments and game developers reaction, there are less and less bugs, and TL doesn’t have a lot of bugs to beginning with. TL is starting to test out the pay-for-item features (by giving players free credits).

Unless there is a big hidden design flaw (which is unlikely), I can’t see this open beta last more than a month.

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A test for now