CCP Games announced a deal with Chinese company NetEase, which will see the latter taking over publishing duties of EVE Online in the country. The announcement states the switch to NetEase will occur in October.
EVE Online has been available in China since 2006, with CCP originally working alongside Optic Communications before moving on with other partners over the years, so this is a transitional deal rather than one opening up a brand new market. It will involve migration of player data and a flurry of promotional activities to keep current players involved and draw in newcomers to the deep, rewarding (and confusing) universe of EVE.
CEO of CCP, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, stated: “CCP and NetEase share a common goal of commitment to quality and service. We know that EVE Online fans in China are passionate about their game play, and our unified goal is the least amount of interruption to their gaming journey during EVE Online‘s transition to the new publisher in this market.
Ethan Wang, VP of NetEase added: “In this cooperation, and with a spirit of ingenuity, we will implement the needs of players and learn from CCP’s R&D and operation experience in the global game market. We’re excited to be working together to advance the game experience for all EVE enthusiasts in China.”
NetEase is a large – and growing – internet technology company based in Guangzhou, China, with fingers in many pies across the technological spectrum. Gaming-wise, the company operates some of the country’s most popular online titles, as well as Western-developed releases like World of Warcraft and Minecraft.
The news follows NetEase’s recent $100 million (£76.5m) investment in UK tech outfit Improbable, which also saw the British firm able to set up an office in China as a result of the deal. Of course, that’s not all – NetEase has been making deals all over the place with the likes of Bungie, too, making the Chinese company 2018’s best Tencent tribute act so far.