Activision Blizzard, the biggest U.S. video game publisher by market capitalization aims to take its popular Call of Duty title as a free-to-play online game to China in a bid to expand its footprint in Asia.
The video game publisher announced a partnership on Tuesday with Tencent Holdings Limited, an Internet and wireless services provider that will have an exclusive license to operate the game in China.
"We think China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement.
This announcement comes in the wake of the departure of Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of media and telecommunications company Vivendi and amid rumors the company is looking to sell its $8.1 billion stake in Activision Blizzard.
The company had hinted over the last year and in its earnings call in May that a free-to-play, microtransaction-based Call of Duty game for China was in development. The game will target Chinese gamers, who have popularized the trend of playing free online games and paying small amounts to purchase virtual goods like weapons and maps.
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012
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