Investment in R&D online games

Giant Interactive Group Inc will add more to its initial RMB 100 million investment budget, said Giant’s President Liu Wei yesterday at the 7th China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference. Liu added that with the acquisition of a fifth independent game research team, the company will soon launch a game product called ZT Online.

Meanwhile, the “18 Funds” project of China’s leading online gaming operator, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, has paid RMB 500 million to fund nearly 40 game research teams, said the firm’s CEO, Li Yu.

Chinese game firms’ investment increase is in accordance with China’s goal of revitalizing cultural industries, and was approved by the State Council last week, sources said.

While China is encouraging joint R&D activities between Chinese firms and foreign firms for online games, foreign firms are not allowed to operate online games in China independently or jointly with domestic firms, said Sun Shoushan, vice director of the General Administration of Press and Publications.

China has also prohibited Web sites from advertising or linking to games that glamorize violence. A notice posted on the Culture Ministry Web site said games that promote drug use, obscenities, gambling, or crimes such as rape, vandalism and theft are “against public morality and the nation’s fine cultural traditions.”
The ban on the Web sites starts immediately.

Without going into details, the notice called for law enforcement bodies to ensure Web sites adhere to the new law. China has the world’s most extensive system of Web monitoring and censorship.

China’s online game industry earned RMB 18.38 billion in sales revenue in 2008, up 76.6% from a year earlier.

Source : Konaxis

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