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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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NTES - TX2 Recent Status 3. – Marketing

This is the third part of an article. Part 2 can be found here:

On 6/6/2008, NTES started the final “closed beta” of TX2. On 8/14/2008, during the 2nd quarter earning conference call, NTES call that was an “open beta”.

For the expansion pact, it would be released in three parts. The first part will be released by the end of August. The second part will be released by 9/24. The third part will be released by October.

The contents of the expansion pact are extremely substantial. In addition to the usual higher levels, new maps, new quests, new assignments and new equipments typically found in an expansion pact, it also has multiple new combat systems. Most importantly, it would come out with the calling card of TX2, the castle siege system.

For companies such as SOHU or GA who are much more sophisticated in marketing, they would have combined the three parts into two parts. Then they would have released it in two parts. The first part would be called open beta and second part called the first expansion pact. Then they would market the heck out of it. They would had start the marketing 6 months before the open beta. Have a great opening. After a couple of months, when the traffic is slowing, they would come out with an expansion pact (with another big marketing campaign).

But that is not NTES’s style. They tried to do it for DT and DT was a failure. They are going back to their root. They are not doing big marketing campaign at all.

It becomes clear to me that TX2 didn’t have the same big opening of NCTY’s WOW or Sohu’s TLBB. But that is by design.

Netease ignored all kind of opportunities to do marketing campaign. They did very little marketing for their final close beta on 6/6/2008. They don’t even bother to have an official open beta and go straight to the first expansion pact. And so far, they are not doing much marketing for the expansion pact as well.

So there are two ways to gauge the success of TX2. If you are expecting a great opening like that of GA’s ZhengTu, NCTY’s WOW, or Sohu’s TLBB, TX2 is a failure.

But if you are expecting a slow and steady growth until it becomes a mega-hit such as NTES’s XYQ and XY2, then TX2 is right on schedule.

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