the9

Major global corporation that owns a large stake in several online games. See: The9 on Wikipedia.

The9 exchanges half of its shares in Red 5 for stake in Cayman Islands cashmere corp

Chinese MMO operator The9 has exchanged about half of its shares in Red 5 for nearly 153.9 million shares of L&A International Holding Limited. The9 previously owned a majority of the Firefall studio's stock at 63.4%; the exchange represents a 30.6% equity interest in Red 5.

L&A International Holding Limited is a Cayman Islands holding company that... manufactures cashmere clothing. Each company will now hold an equity interest in the other as a hedge against market instabilities in their, ahem, rather different industries. It's also possible that one or the other plans to liquidate its new shares to raise cash.

Of particular interest as a conversation piece is this quote from the statement: "The total consideration for the transaction for all the participating equity holders, including the company, is approximately US$76.5 million, implying Red 5's valuation at US$170 million."

Source: PR Newswire via Reddit. Thanks, I-Spy!

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PlanetSide 2 is shutting down in China

PlanetSide 2's global reach has shortened yet again, as the title will be ceasing operations in China as of May 31st.

The MMOFPS launched in China in June of 2013 to greater numbers than the game's US operation at the time but apparently had been slipping ever since. The game's regional operator, The9, said that it was getting out of the PlanetSide 2 business to focus on preparing for Firefall's release.

In June 2015, PlanetSide 2 closed down in South Korea due to a lack of the title's popularity in the country.

Source: MMO Culture. Thanks to Greaterdivinity for the tip!

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The9's CEO is throwing over a million bucks at Chinese Firefall players

It's kind of a nail-biting time to be looking in from the outside when it comes to Red 5 Studios and Firefall. The past few big stories have centered on not patches or content but on the fact that dev pay was delayed over Christmas (which the company says has now been rectified). But it's happy times for the game over in China, as parent company The9's CEO is showering the game's Chinese testers with over a million dollars in promotional items.

The plan is to distribute ¥10 million ($1.53 million US) worth of "red packets" (presumably akin to gifts for Chinese New Year) to players, which probably means lots of promotional codes. Considering the fact that $100 million has been invested in the game's release in China, there's the possibility that it involves actual real money. Regardless, it doesn't exactly sit nicely next to stories about the US team being unable to make payroll on time.

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