The9, an online game operator and developer in China, has really turned a corner over the past year. I still remember the days when The9 was reportedly on the verge of closure after losing the rights for World of Warcraft China, with the game reportedly bringing around 50% of the company’s earnings. The massive change started when Mr Tony Park (picture below, middle) was brought in from Korea as the Vice CEO to steer the company out of trouble, which he efficiently did.
Today, The9 announced the opening of its Korea services, beginning with 6 titles (including web games like Pax Nora) including Sony Online Entertainment’s PlanetSide 2 and Free Realms. This means that The9 will be publishing PlanetSide 2 in both China (link) and Korea. Mr Tony Park did not forget Sony Online Entertainment’s support, and send his thanks to the company’s CEO, Mr John Smedley.
From my point of view, I was really expecting the company’s closure back then after negative reports just streamed in back then. I had a rather positive post back in March last year (link), and it seems my prediction was rather spot-on.The9’s effort to push into the English market, though, faded after the rather lacklustre debut title, Three Kingdoms Brawler (link). Will the English market be forgotten? Time will tell.