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Three Kingdoms Brawler announced

three kingdoms brawler
Three Kingdoms Brawler is the latest free-to-play game but it comes from an established publisher in that field. That would be The9 Interactive, the US division of China-based The9 Limited, which runs and publishes a number of online PC games in its native country. It used to run Blizzard's World of Warcraft operations in China before Blizzard switched over to NetEast. Three Kingdoms Brawler is the first game from the company for a US audience.

The game itself is described as a "classic side-scrolling arcade beat-em-up" but with online and persistant features such as leveling up your fighter to gain more combos, weapons and armor. There will also be support for online factions and guilds, a crafting system for making weapons and items, an in-game marketplace and more. The game's web site is already live with more info on Three Kingdoms Brawler which is scheduled to launch sometime this spring.

Red 5 Studios to finally reveal "team-based action shooter" at PAX Prime 2010

We have been waiting for a long time for developer Red 5 Studios to reveal concrete details on its first game and it looks like that wait is finally over. We noticed that the company was an exhibitor at PAX Prime 2010 in Seattle in early September. Late on Thursday Big Download got confirmation from both Red 5 Studios and a PR firm that is representing them that the studio will indeed debut its first game at PAX. The PR rep specifically stated the game would be an "team-based action shooter" title.

Formed in 2005 by former members of Blizzard's World of Warcraft team Red 5 has managed to stay silent about their title although we do know it is using a modified version of the Offset Engine. The company ran into some financial issues in early 2010 that included some layoffs but Red 5 later got a majority of its holdings bought by China-based publisher The9 for $20 million.

The9 confirms acquisition of majority of Red 5 Studios for $20 million

Earlier this year, MMO developer Red 5 Studios announced a restructuring that caused a large number of its employees to be laid off. A few weeks later, Chinese game publisher The9 was reported to be putting in a large amount of money into Red 5 Studios. Today Red 5 Studios and The9 confirmed that The9 has bought a majority stake in Red 5 Studios to the tune of $20 million.

As we have reported before, Red 5 Studios was formed several years ago by former members of Blizzard's World of Warcraft team. However the studio has yet to release its first game. However the newly relaunched company web site has posted up some fairly generic fantasy looking concept art which they say is from their upcoming title.

The9 revealed as new investor in Red 5 Studios

Last week Red 5 Studios admitted to a "restructuring" of its MMO game development studio which included layoffs of a number of its team members. At the time the company announced it had secured a new investor but declined to give details. Now a Reuters story reports that the investor happens to be China-based The9.

The9 is best known as the former World of Warcraft administrative company in China. It looks like the company is now looking for developers to fill their void with more games. There's no word on exactly how much money The9 is investing in Red 5 Studios and in fact none of the companies involved have officially confirmed this new investor relationship.

The Chinese still can't play World of Warcraft


Last month, it was announced that Chinese gamers would have to do without playing Blizzard's hit MMO World of Warcraft for a few weeks as the game transitioned between its old China-based operator The9 and its new operator NetEase. Now it has been revealed that the transition is taking longer than planned.

According to a Reuters article, NetEase is now saying that due to "factors out of its control" the company still has not re-launched World of Warcraft. It also can't predict when the game will come back online for the millions of its Chinese players. Obviously the longer the game is shut down there's more of a chance that its previous gamers will not return to World of Warcraft when it does finally come back online. That ultimately could cut into Blizzard's overall revenues and subscription numbers for the game.

China doing without World of Warcraft for a few weeks


The million of World of Warcraft gamers in China are now dealing with some withdrawl symptons. Early on Sunday the company in charge of the the game's Chinese servers, The9, shut down those machines. The reason? Earlier this year, Blizzard announced it was breaking off its relationship with The9 and handed the big China World of Warcraft keys to a rival company, Netease.

The problem is that, according to the Wall Street Journal, Netease isn't ready to launch its servers for the game and won't be until sometime later in June, which means that a number of Chinese players might not come back to World of Warcraft when it resumes operations. According to a poll of those gamers, 53 percent stated they would come back, 26 percent said they would wait and see what happens with the transition while 21 percent said they were done with the game.

World of Warcraft changing Chinese distributors


It's no secret that China is one of the biggest overall markets for Blizzard's World of Warcraft. For the past few years the Chinese company The9 has handled the overall administration for Blizzard's hit MMO. Today the developer's parent publisher Activision Blizzard announced it has signed an agreement with an affiliated company of NetEase.com to handle the World of Warcraft business in China for a period of three years.

Rumors that Blizzard might change their Chinese connection have persisted for month, especially since Blizzard announced plans to team with NetEase.com to provide online services in China for their Battle.net services along with online support for Warcraft III and the upcoming Starcraft II. Financial terms of today's deal with NetEase.com were not disclosed.
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