According to a Reuters report, Electronic Arts has licensed its first online game for distribution in China. Earlier this month, EA and its Chinese partner, Guangdong Tian Yue Network Technology Development Co. Ltd., announced the arrival of a stable of casual online games in China under the name “Pogo.” In today’s announcement EA and Tian Yue will offer “Tales Runner,” a fantasy-themed game, under license from South Korea’s NOWCOM.
The online game format appeals to Chinese gamers particularly because of its pay-as-you-go nature. In China, it is difficult for the majority of the population to afford expensive, home-based systems like the Xbox or PlayStation. Game developers similarly appreciate the online format because of its multi-player, multiple-location nature, making piracy much more difficult.
EA entered the Chinese market nearly two years ago with plans to make China the global center for its online game development. This year, China’s online game market is expected to generate nearly double the figures from 2005, which saw $500 million in revenue.