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EA to buy Stake in Chinese Game Operator The9

by Rainier on April 9, 2007 @ 2:56 a.m. PDT

Last month EA revealed plans to make an equity investment in Korea-based online gaming company, Neowiz Corporation, and now the world's biggest publisher plans to go even further and reached an agreement with The9 Ltd. to buy a 19 percent stake in the Chinese online game operator for about $200 million.

Shanghai-based The9 also obtained the exclusive right to run EA's casual game FIFA Online in China at the end of March.

A deal would potentially give The9, which offers Blizzard Entertainment's wildly popular "World of Warcraft" online game in China, rights to run more sports-themed casual games from EA, according to industry insiders, while the deal would grant EA an indirect way into China's online game market.

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