I can find anyone to -hold- me, what i need now is for *YOU* to -love- me
Your position:Home->china news-> The9 Ltd. (NCTY) officially ceased operating World of Warcraft
Now, its NetEase.com Inc.'s (NTES) turn to take over WoW in China. Except it's not quite ready.
NetEase Chief Executive William Ding and Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment (WoW's owner), jointly announced that the game's servers will be temporarily unavailable during the transition period, which is expected to last until late June, according to an earlier note sent to WoW players by NetEase.
On Saturday night, tens of thousands of Chinese WoW fans gathered online to witness the server shutdown. A new online bulletin board for WoW players, wowbbs.163.com, recorded peak traffic of 20,294 visitors within several hours of its launch that night, Chinese media reported. Chinese Web portal Sina.com featured a live broadcast of the closure process starting at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and The9 set up a countdown clock in the game 15 minutes before the closure, according to QQ.com (in Chinese). Meanwhile, players filled other online bulletin boards and forums to discuss the closure, with the QQ Games Forum receiving more than 10,000 WoW-related comments that night.
'Miss those days of playing WoW with friends...the good old days will never return...The9 left us pain and regret...a post-WoW time is about to come,' wrote one Web user on QQ.com. Another player made a video of the last four minutes of the game before the servers were terminated.
After shutting its servers, The9 thanked all WoW players for their support since 2005, when it introduced the game to China. The game's official mainland China Web site, wowchina.com, also disappeared and The9 set up an alternative site, wow.the9.com, to process refunds of the players' balances over the next three months.
While many players lament the temporary suspension of the game, some said that it would give players a much-needed dose of reality. 'It's great. I suggest that we shut down this type of online game forever - just think about how many young people and their families were ruined by online games,' said one Sina user (in Chinese here).
An online poll by Sina.com showed that 53% of some 130,000 voters said that they would continue with the NetEase-run WoW, while 21% would not play anymore and 26% said they would 'wait and see.' In another survey on QQ.com, which drew more than 173,000 responses, only 35 say they would continue playing WoW when it returns.
Industry analysts say that the longer the game transition takes, the more players WoW might lose. In the past few weeks, a large group of concerned mainland WoW players have started playing the game though its Taiwanese servers, though the mass migration has caused traffic jams during the peak evening hours, resulting in waits of several hours to play.
The transition period has also created an opportunity for WoW's rivals in China's online game market. With China's most popular online game suddenly gone, the competition have been launching new games and targeting ad campaigns at idle WoW players. These include The9's Atlantica, a new 3D role-playing game introduced in late May, Shanda's AION, Kingsoft's JX Online 3 and Perfect World's Zhu Xian Online.
With some 55 million game players, China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world's largest online game market by number of players this year, and China's online game industry is forecast to reach $10 billion in revenues by 2012, according to market research firm iResearch.