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.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

FF will start open beta on 5/15/2009 and quick status on NTES’s new games

One can find my previous article on FF here:

It is about time. The new FF went into closed beta on 2/1/2008. Most closed beta doesn’t last more than 1 year. In the above article, I predicted that FF will go into open beta at the end of 2008.

NTES sure take its sweet time. Finally, FF is going to conduct open beta on 5/15/2009. For more detailed information, see the following article:

By the way, I had always addressed this game as FF2 to make distinction between this new game (that is developed from scratch by NTES) to the FF1 that was licensed from a Korean company. But NTES address this game as new FF and its web address is http://ff.163.com/. Therefore, from now on, I will address this game as FF.

Everybody knows the exciting news of WOW and how it will accelerate the growth of NTES. But I don’t think most people know the exciting development of new NTES games.

Between 2005 and now (2009), only two games went into commercial operation. DT went into commercial operation in 2006 and XY3 went into commercial operation in 2007.

DT was a failure and the development had been stopped. XY3 had become a medium game and is pulling about $5M per quarter.

In 2008, both TX2 and XYW went into closed beta and monetization had started. But it was very low level monetization and they are definitely not in commercialization mode.

In 2006, NTES got caught in the transition from paying game to free-to-play game in China’s gaming industry; she has to pull all her games in development back to the drawing board and re-started the development cycle.

For 4 long years, NTES had virtually no new game (except a mediocre XY3) for growth.

But the waiting is over. In the next year or so, an explosion of new games will be in commercial operation.

Starting with DT, NTES had restarted the development of DT from its death bed. On 4/15/2009, it released its 2nd expansion pact.
On 5/15/2009, FF will going into open beta. For item-based free-to-play games, open beta is the same as commercialization.

On June 2009, NTES will get the license for WOW. Commercialization shouldn’t be too far behind.

On June or July 2009, whenever the movie “Transformer 2” will be in theatre, NTES’s new game BB will go into open beta.

The two games that went into closed beta in 2008, TX2 and XYW (both had already have 120k to 150k players during the weekend), shall go into open beta some times this year.

2010 will be a busy year for NTES also. Star Craft 2 will probably go commercial that year. In addition, 3 new games will probably be out that year. QN, DT2, and CSXY are all major titles. Keep a special eye out for CSXY, it has blockbuster written all over it.

I didn’t count the two Warcraft 3 games, I don’t think they will be successful.

Out of those 10 new major games (DT is not new, but its re-birth is new), most likely WOW will be a blockbuster. Besides WOW, some of these games will fail, but 2 or 3 may become blockbuster (like that of XY2 and XYQ) and others will be medium games (like that of XY3).

Therefore, while everybody is excited about WOW, the 9 other new games will probably have much more impact than that of WOW.

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