Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Giant is stumping into the online gaming market

Giant Interactive is rolling out it's next big hit, the Giant Online rapidly.

With the public beta expected in only a few more days, Giant's CEO, Shi Yuzhu is again demonstrating his superior marketing skills.

He has been all over Chinese media making bold claims that the Giant can score 90 points while the WOW only can score 60 points. That has successfully forced Blizzard's vice president, Frank Pearce to take the bait and said that he wanted to play Giant to see how can it be so good.

He made similar claims when ZT online was rolling out. People laughed at him. Shi had the laugh at the end and ZT becomes a cash machine for Giant Interactive.

Instead of playing the sexual appeal of online games under the cover like other Chinese game operators, Shi is openly recruiting beautiful girls to play Giant Online and even get paid for playing. He claimed that Giant Online will have the most female players in China.

So far, his strategy appears working well.

On Baidu's game search ranking, Giant has jumped from 49 to 11 in just two week's time.

On the popular game download site, 17173.com, Giant ranked 21 monthly, 15 weekly, and reached 7th daily today.

Shi is a very special CEO, not because his famous up and downs, but because he's not working in a place where every other CEO sits in. He works more like a super powered customer service rep. He plays and befriend with the players who have the many complains. He then demands almost immediate fix on those problems from the responsive party inside his company, sometimes even late in the night.

Unlike many other popular Chinese games, which focus on glorifying China for it's strong past, Giant Online is themed as "future" with a scheme similar to that of "back to future". It provides players a chance to build a superpower "China" with modern war fare so that Chinese could wash away their shame of recent history of being overpowered by the western countries as well as neighboring Japan.

Unlike other games featuring the super heroes, the Giant Online empowers the teams. The game intends to be the "myspace" of online games with many communities are being built already. There are a dozen different professions and many different activities spanning from hard battle to easy life like fishing, or dancing.

With the Olympic games close in, the nationalism is running high in China. Giant Online will likely splash into the scene and could even smash the landscape of online gaming in China.

With one kind of a CEO and one kind of a game, It's remain to be seen only how long it takes for the "most expected" game to become the most popular game in China.

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