Under the agreement, Shanda and Turbine will cooperate extensively in developing and localizing Turbine's massively multiplayer online role playing games for the Chinese market. Additionally, Shanda will hold the exclusive rights in China to operate this first and only 3D MMORPG based on the world-renowned Dungeons & Dragons franchise. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Shanda's leadership position and outstanding reputation with China's online gaming community makes them the ideal partner for introducing Dungeons & Dragons Online to China," said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO, Turbine, Inc. "This agreement reaffirms Turbine's commitment to bring the D&D Online experience to every gamer in China and throughout the world."
China represents one of the world's largest and fastest-growing markets for online games, with International Data Corporation, a market research company, estimating a market valued at $1.3 billion by 2009. Shanda helped pioneer this market and today occupies the leading position as measured by both revenue and total game playing users. In 2004, Shanda had approximately 2.0 million peak concurrent users playing its online games.
"As the pioneer of traditional role-playing games, Dungeons & Dragons Online is a terrific addition to our leading portfolio of both internally developed and licensed online game offerings," said Tianqiao Chen, chief executive officer of Shanda. "Turbine has done a tremendous job adapting this signature title to the virtual world, and we look forward to bringing a rich game experience to China's gamers via our national distribution platform."