China to get a Disney online game

Walt Disney has signed a deal with a major Chinese operator of online games for its animated characters to enter China`s booming online games industry.

By the terms of the agreement signed Wednesday, Shanda Interactive Entertainment will develop, distribute and operate an online game based on Disney`s most popular animated characters, China Daily reported Thursday.

Both sides declined to disclose financial figures, but said the online game marks the beginning of a long-term cooperation.

Last year revenues from online gaming in China reached $465 million, an increase of more than 50 percent from 2004.

Shanda claims that in the first quarter of 2006, it had an average of 1.35 million online game users, of which over 30 percent were casual game players.

The company plans to develop more games for its new target users — female players and families — because online games traditionally have been designed for young male players.

Last year Disney and telecommunications company Qualcomm China jointly launched mobile phones with cartoon content in Shanghai.


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