Walt Disney Internet Group and Shanda Interactive Ent. announced that the two companies have entered into an agreement to bring Disney's branded entertainment content to China's online game industry via Shanda's online game operating platform. The agreement calls for Shanda to develop, distribute and operate an online casual game based on the worlds of Disney and featuring some of Disney's most popular animated characters.
The game, which will be developed for a broader demographic than traditional online games, as well as China's burgeoning segment of female online gamers, will be available in China for open beta in spring 2007.
"The market for online games in China is large and growing, and it was important for us to find the right partner. We're pleased to have found that in Shanda," said Mark Handler, evp/md, international, Walt Disney Internet Group. "Disney's rich content library, combined with Shanda's capabilities as a leading online game operator, will bring a new, unique and fun experience for the online game consumer. We actively look to bring more of our content to the online interactive entertainment market in China."
"The Disney brand and its lineup of animated characters are already popular in China, and through this agreement we bring this well-known content to China's online game community in the form of an exciting new casual game. We remain firmly committed to providing our users with new and compelling entertainment content that will keep their online experience fresh and enjoyable, and we believe the addition of Disney's wholesome content will further broaden our user demographic, thus making a significant contribution to the implementation of our home strategy," Tianqiao Chen, chairman/ceo of Shanda, commented. "We look forward to a successful collaboration with the Walt Disney Internet Group and are excited about bringing Disney's content to China's online game community."
The agreement with Shanda marks Disney's entrance into China's online game market.
"China is a priority for the entire company, and this announcement is part of our strategy to expand our presence here. We have a huge competitive advantage, thanks to the strength of the Disney brand, which is embraced and sought-after around the world," said Stanley Cheung, md, The Walt Disney Co. (China). "The combination of Shanda's strong capability in developing and operating online games with Disney's expertise in providing compelling content breaks new ground in China, as this will be yet another way for consumers to interact with and experience the magic of Disney."
Shanda Interactive Ent. Ltd. is an interactive entertainment company and one of the largest operators of online games in China, currently operating twelve online games, including seven MMORPGs and five casual games. In the first quarter of 2006, total peak concurrent users for all Shanda games in commercial service was 2.45 million and peak concurrent users for Shanda's casual games, which have broader user demographics including more female users than traditional massive multiplayer role-playing games, was 1.56 million.
Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) provides strategic leadership, business execution support and a world-class technology platform for all the Walt Disney Co. Internet properties, including ESPN.com and ABCNEWS.com, and directly operates Disney.com worldwide, FamilyFun.com, Movies.com and Disney Mobile. WDIG is committed to creating and delivering products for broadband distribution.
Shanda Interactive Ent. Ltd. (Nasdaq: SNDA - News) is a leading interactive entertainment media company in China. Shanda offers a portfolio of diversified entertainment content including some of the most popular massively multiplayer and casual online games in China, along with online chess and board games, a network PC game platform and a variety of cartoons, literary and music content. Shanda's interactive entertainment platform attracts a large and loyal user base. For more information, visit www.snda.com/.