The Perfect World I am referring to is the headquarters over at China, not the North American subsidiary unless stated. The company has just announced its 1st Quarter earnings, and you might have guessed, revenue and profits increased significantly again. The announcement is then followed up by a telephone conference with several business analysts. Instead of posting all the numbers and figures, below are some details which are of interest to gamers like me… and you 🙂
1. Perfect World now has 4 sets of engine to develop their games. The 4 sets are 3D, 2.5D, 2D and turn-based. As engines developed by their own staff, they can be upgraded and edited according to a project’s needs. While this might have lead to many gamers calling PWE’s games “similar”in terms of graphics, it certainly is cost-saving instead of buying engines like Unreal 3. Do note that the Unreal 3 Engine was actually developed for console titles, not for MMORPGs. A significant amount of finances, human resources and time will be needed to edit the source code accordingly to be made into a MMO.
2. Over in China, Forsaken World will launch its much anticipated Open Beta in the 3rd Quarter. The game is currently in Closed Beta phase, while some time will be needed for the developers to fix the game’s bug after it ends. A 2D MMORPG, roughly translated as Dragon Excalibur Online (see screenshots below), will enter Open Beta in the 4th Quarter. An unnamed title, a 2D MMO, will also debut this fall. I do not have details on this game, and the announcement took me by surprise.
3. The much awaited Swordsman Online (笑傲江湖Online), based on the classic novel, The Proud Wandering Wanderer, will also be playable in 2011. The full 3D game seems to be slightly delayed after various media claim the game will see light in 2010. A big budget movie will also be produced along with the game.
4. Finally, Perfect World has bought a majority stake in North American studio, Runic Games. Runic Games sold 500,000 copies of Torchlight in just 6months, which is quite a feat for a maiden title. When asked if the earnings of Runic Games will eventually end up with Perfect World, its stated that as Perfect World has not acquired 70% of Runic’s shares, earnings will remain with the studio. Perfect World has also stated that Runic Games is currently self-reliable due to the success of Torchlight, so the development for Torchlight Online will go on smoothly. As a side note by me, Runic Games has been involved with the localization of Forsaken World, and apparently in some angle, the development of Swordsman Online.
For those who do not know, Perfect World also has its own TV and movie venture, which is still quite young. The earnings from this section for the 1st quarter is a mere USD300,000, but it shouldn’t deter the company from investing further. The company’s overseas licensing for their games are also doing well, mainly in Russia and Korea, and a European office has also been setup.