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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.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Netease will start to develop XY2 again

My previous post on XY3 can be found from below:


Previously, NTES had said that they will stop the development of XY2 and devote all their effort on XY3. Now they have changed their mind and will start to develop XY2 again. From the following article, NTES will start to develop XY2 again.


I will translate the article below:

1. NTES will consolidate servers.

2. NTES will completely modify the gang warfare systems.

3. NTES will develop new tasks and plots.

4. NTES will develop new playing environment and play areas.

5. NTES will develop new playing PvP features (Players vs. Players)

6. NTES will develop the cross-servers battleground.

7. NTES will develop new gang-warfare features.

From reading between the lines, I think I can make the following observations:

  1. By consolidating servers, NTES is indicating that they will start to keep on developing XY2 and try to get the lost players back.
  2. Almost all the features they will be developing are geared for high-level players. It looks like they are not going to extend the players developments. As a result, I don’t think they will extend the maximum levels.
  3. Most of the features they want to develop are for those players who had already reached the maximum levels.

Frankly, it is a surprise to me. But I don’t think it means XY3 is a failure. Personally, from observing the servers statistics, I think XY3 is doing fine and is growing again.

I think it is probably the case that no matter how much you plans, there is always something new that will catch you by surprise. There are reasons why most game companies won’t do what NTES attempts to do with the XY2 to XY3 transition.

When a XY2 player character is being transitioned to the XY3, he automatically becomes a high level (for example, level 160) player. But at this point, XY3 development team only developed up to level 100. If NTES forced XY3 development team to develop all the plots and tasks needed for the players to get to level 160 in such a short time. It most likely means substandard products.

Based on the observations I have, my speculation is that the XY2 to XY3 transition will still occur, but it will probably not be any time soon. They will probably develop XY3 slowly and methodically to the high player levels. But for the mean times, a lot of existing XY2 players are sitting on the side line playing other games and waiting to get transitioned to XY3, NTES want to get these players back.

NTES will get these players back by adding new PvP contents to the old XY2. On the other hand, NTES won’t increase the maximum players’ levels of the XY2 much (thus it won’t force XY3 to increase their maximum players’ levels).

Another advantage of keeps on developing XY2 is to make XY2 closer and closer to XY3. One of the major complains of the XY2 players is that XY3 is too different from XY2. Rather than developing the XY3 closer and closer to XY2 and going backward, now NTES can develop XY2 closer and closer to XY3. In 6 months or 1 year, when the XY2 is substantially close to XY3, a lot of XY2 players will be willing to transition to the new game.

It will be safe to say that, for the near term (the next 6 months), XY3 won’t be on the same level of the XY2 at its maximum height. However, it is entirely possible that the combination of XY2 and XY3 would have more players than the old XY2 during its apex.

I will have to carefully observe the server statistics in the next few weeks to see the following trend:

Will XY2 grow again? Will XY3 continue to grow?

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