CDC Games, a business unit of CDC Corporation (NASDAQ: CHINA) and a pioneer of the "free-to-play, pay for merchandise” model for online games in China, announced today it has completed a successful Closed Beta Test of The Lord of the Rings Online™(LOTRO) which revealed users experienced an average playing time of 3.9 hours per session.
In addition, LOTRO reported a registration number of 2.9 million users accompanied by a high activation rate. During certain weeks of the closed beta testing period, LOTRO has ranked in the Top 10 for highly anticipated games and most downloaded games in many of the popular games portals such as 17173.com and Baidu, China’s top search engine.
"We are very satisfied on our successful Closed Beta Test where we accomplished our goals of fine tuning the game for the China market,” said Monish Bahl, CFO of CDC Games. "The game went through extensive testing, and we are quite pleased that the game is now ready for the final phase of testing. We also believe that the value proposition of LOTRO, which incorporates our pricing strategy, is expected to help us increase our market share from other games in light of the current competitive environment.”
Granted all these users are Chinese and aren't going to be paying as much as their American and European counterparts but they will still be paying money to Turbine that they wouldn't be paying to it otherwise so I think Turbine has definitely got some reason to rejoice here. They are the second major western company to launch an MMO in China as far as I know, Blizzard being the first. (Provided they get out of beta which I'm pretty sure they will)