You can find my last article on the development of NTES's new games here:
Wow, this is a surprise. This really comes from nowhere. Obviously, NTES is going to have another new game. More information about this game can be find here:
The name of this game is called Transformer. I will call this game BB from now on.
There already is an official forum for this game already and it can be find here:
Some graphics for the in-game transformer characters can be found here:
There is very little information about this new game. But I think this is going to be a major MMORPG. But it is clear that this game's emphasis is on fighting. There will be many features for fighting, both individual fighting and group fighting.
This game will represent a complete break from other NTES's games. All other NTES games (except FF2) are based on ancient Chinese characters. FF2 was the lone exception. FF2 is based on western characters. So is BB. This game will be based on the western cartoon characters of Transformers. BB will have much more emphasis on fighting.
BB will be a 3D game. TX2 was the first 3D game for NTES. But TX2』s 3D game engine is not developed in house. It uses the Big World engine developed by an Australian company. FF2 is a 3D game also. Its game engine is developed in-house. But there is no comparison on the complexity level between the two games.
It will be interesting to know if BB's game engine is in-house developed or not. If BB's 3D game engine is developed in-house, it would mean NTES had a technology breakthrough. But at this point, we just don't know.
Another interesting thing about this game is that NTES will synchronize the release of this game with the movie Transformer 2. It probably means NTES already had a marketing deal with Di Bonaventura Pictures (the maker of Transformer 2).
NTES almost never market their game. It will be very rare for them to go through all the trouble of doing co-marketing with a popular movie. At this point, we just don't have enough information to know if this is the case. But if this implication is correct and NTES will do a major co-marketing with the movie, it would indicate that NTES is placing great hope, money, and effort on this new game.
Transformer 2 the movie is scheduled to be premiered on 6/26/2009. As announced in the above article, the game BB will be synchronized to operate at the same time.
That will mean BB will start commercial operation by the end of June, 2009. That is pretty fast. That means maximum of 5 months for closed beta. That is pretty aggressive scheduling. That will be tough to do.
At this early time, there is no video information on this game. But if one really paid attention, one can probably guess about the existence of this game one and half year ago.
A video was posted on 10/16/2007. It was a promotional video made by Netease for them to recruit college graduates. One can find the video below:
The whole video has 15:08 minutes. From the above video, on the 1:53 mark, a Netease employee talked about a new game 「創世西遊」. The direct translation for that game is call 「New World Westward Journey」. It implied a XYQ or XY2 type of game.
But pay attention to the above video from the time 10:30 to 11:10, and from 13:30 to 14:30, one can see clearly a brand new game that is completely different from any game Netease ever made.
It is pretty certain that game is this new Transformer game. For competitive reason, Netease has to keep this major game as top secret. Ntes had to conduct a disinformation campaign and to make its competitors think its next major game is going to be a XYQ or XY2 type of game while it is really a completely different type of game.
From all the secrecy and possible major marketing promotions, this is probably the game Ntes put the most hope and resource in the past two years.