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People's Daily Online>>China Business

The9 seals license fee for game

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15:22, November 29, 2011

The9 Ltd said yesterday a Singapore-based game operator will pay it US$23 million in license fee as the Chinese firm expands overseas to counter the slower growth in the domestic game industry.

Red 5 Singapore Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shanghai-based The9, said that it has licensed its shooter game Firefall to Garena Online Private Ltd for distribution across Southeast Asia and Taiwan. The agreement will last six years and Garena will pay Red 5 Singapore US$23 million during the period.

"This agreement is an exciting leap forward. Now we will turn our attention to China, Korea and Japan," Zhu Jun, chief executive and chairman of The9, said in an e-mail statement.

The9, which used to be the Chinese mainland operator of the World of WarCraft, has invested heavily in game development and mobile games. It acquired Red 5 game studio in 2010.

Last year, the revenue in China's game market was 32.3 billion yuan (US$5.04 billion), a 30 percent annual growth but it slowed from the more than 50 percent annual expansion in past years, according to the General Administration of Press and Publication.

Games exports soared 111 percent last year to US$230 million, GAPP said.

Chinese online game firms are seeking new income channels such as overseas markets and mobile platforms, according to market observers.

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