Activision, Tencent to offer free 'Call of Duty' online for China

U.S. video game publisher ties up with Chinese Internet services provider Tencent, to give it exclusive license to operate its popular shooter game in China.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Entertainment software publisher Activision Blizzard has partnered China's Internet giant Tencent to bring Call of Duty Online to Chinese game players--a freemium of its popular shooter game.
According to a joint statement Tuesday, the deal is part of a multi-year agreement that will give Tencent the exclusive license to operate the game in mainland China. It will be free to play and monetized through the sale of in-game items.
"We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, in the release. "We think China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games."
Martin Lau, president of Tencent, said, "We believe Call of Duty Online will attract tens of millions of loyal fans in China, and our game platform and operational expertise to run massive multi-player online games can provide strong support to deliver the immersive and highly interactive game experience to game players in China."
The announcement follows the departure last week of Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of media and telecommunications company Vivendi, which owns a 61 percent stake in Activision.

Activision had hinted over the last year that it was developing a free-to-play, microtransaction-based 'Call of Duty' game for China, according to Reuters.

The newswire noted that Activision had previously explored the Chinese market with its online subscription-based 'World of Warcraft' game.

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