THQ Inc. and Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ: SNDA) today announced a co-development and publishing agreement for an online-only version of THQ’s critically acclaimed 3D Real-Time Strategy (RTS) PC game Company of Heroes. Company of Heroes Online (working title) is currently being co-developed by THQ studio Relic Entertainment, the creators of Company of Heroes, and Shanda. As part of the agreement, Shanda has obtained the exclusive license to operate Company of Heroes Online in Mainland China, and THQ and Shanda will also share the benefits of the game?s potential release outside that region. Company of Heroes Online is scheduled for release across Mainland China in 2008.
The original Company of Heroes was released to broad critical acclaim in 2006. The game is set in World War II and brings to life the journey of the men of Able Company as they fight across Europe. The RTS hit has won more than 37 awards to date, including six ?PC Game of the Year? and 12 ?Strategy Game of the Year? awards. In addition, the game is listed in more than 10 ?Top 10 Games of 2006? lists. Company of Heroes Online is set to deliver a persistent Company of Heroes experience for online gamers where players will be able to build their character up from private to general through new multiplayer cooperative missions, gameplay modes, and player versus player combat. The teams at Relic Entertainment and Shanda are joining together to create a persistent RTS experience across the expansive battlefields of World War II Europe.
?This new deal is a significant milestone for THQ as it supports two significant growth drivers for the company – building our product offering across Asia and expanding into new digital revenue streams,? said Brian Farrell, president and CEO of THQ. ?Shanda?s leadership position in the online space makes them the ideal partner to serve as both co-developer of Company of Heroes Online and operator of the game across China.?
?We are excited to cooperate with THQ in bringing Company of Heroes Online to China, where there is an extensive base of RTS fans. Company of Heroes remains one of the greatest RTS titles ever created, and we believe this type of experience promises a tremendous following in the online space,? said Tianqiao Chen, Chairman and CEO of Shanda. ?Teaming up with THQ is an important step as we continue to seek co-development and benefit-sharing opportunities with world-renowned game developers. Our ability to attract international partners is proof of the strength of Shanda?s operational and R&D abilities, and it is an integral part of our overseas business development strategy. We are confident that combining THQ’s strong game development experience with Shanda’s powerful operating platform and expertise in the online game market will ensure that Company of Heroes Online becomes a great success.?