Once among the biggest MMO publisher and developer in China, with hefty investments from overseas including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, 9you is on a massive downhill slide currently. In 2010 itself, though not officially published, there were a few rounds of retrenchments due to under-performing titles. I did a short profile on the company’s blockbuster games for 2011, but currently, City Transformers has stopped its service, Weapons of the Gods is severely draining the company’s resources while Butterfly Sword Online is virtually the company’s final hope. Having played Weapons of the Gods myself, I can tell you that while it looks like a 10-carat diamond on the outside, it is actually a… carrot on the inside.
Amongst the many canceled games or games which stopped service, 9you confirmed that a new MMO title in development, using the latest Cry Engine 3, has also been halted. In a more recent news, the company’s other new MMO developed using Unreal 3 Engine, Fantasy Hill Online, is said to be canned after the team in Shanghai was sacked. To add injury to insult, development teams in Beijing, Xiamen and even Tokyo were rumored to be preparing to close their doors.
While I am in no way a professional analysts, all these do not bode well for 9you, especially with its competitors, including Tencent Games, Perfect World, Changyou and Shanda Games growing from strength to strength with their overseas expansion plans. Will 9you pull itself up with Butterfly Sword Online? We will see in a few months.