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Tencent, Activision Blizzard to take ‘Call of Duty Online’ into China

This is interesting. One of China’s biggest social networking powers Tencent has been granted the exclusive rights to distribute Call of Duty Online in the country.

The multiplayer game, which involves missions familiar to anyone who’s played the Call of Duty Modern Warfare series, has been in development for the past two years. Free to play, it makes its money through in-game purchases.

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The game’s publisher Activision Blizzard today announced the deal with the Chinese company, in what it sees as a way to leverage the booming Chinese online economy.

According to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kottick, the company thinks “China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games.”

Kottick added that he thought Tencent was an “ideal partner” for bringing Call of Duty Online to China:

Tencent has a terrific track record of customer-focused innovation and deep market knowledge that will be invaluable to Activision as we build great games for China. We have worked closely with Tencent to create a game with broad appeal for the Chinese market. We look forward to laying the foundation for a long-standing relationship with Tencent and to launching a new and unique experience for fans.

The game that Chinese users play via Tencent won’t be the same as that played by their Western counterparts either. The new model will allow players the ability to personalise their weapons, characters and equipment. Using an in-game store, players can enhance their weapons, gear, and perks built specifically for the Chinese market.

Tencent president Martin Lau said his company was “thrilled to work with the world’s premiere game developer and publisher to bring this much-awaited title to Chinese game players. We believe Call of Duty Online will attract tens of millions of loyal fans in China, and our game platform and operational expertise to run massive multi-player online games can provide strong support to deliver the immersive and highly interactive game experience to game players in China.”

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