The fiscal year ends in a couple of weeks - which right now means it’s about Christmastime for money. Chinese MMO specialists Perfect World announced a $110.7 million drop in profits since last year, and so were rightfully reticent to break out the mulled wine - but still had something to celebrate with their shareholders.
Namely early revenue from Dota 2, which Perfect World are in the tentative stages of introducing to mainland China.
Despite the overall drop in annual earnings, Perfect World reported revenues of $151m in the last three months - a significant rise over the $133.6m made in the preceding three.
That’s partly thanks to strong showings from Perfect World’s local investments, online games like Return of the Condor Heroes and Zhu Xian. But it’s also thanks to Dota 2. During the course of a soft launch for Valve’s MOBA, player numbers in mainland China have risen from 778,000 to 803,000 in the last three months.
That represents a steady increase since March 2012, when that total was 620,000 players. The publishers opened Chinese Dota 2 servers up for open beta in April last year.
Perfect World CEO Robert Xiao said that Dota 2 had been “highly anticipated” in China.
“Dota 2 is currently at the initial stage of commercialisation and we expect to have a large-scale full launch in China soon,” he told shareholders.
Chinese law has it that Western developers partner with a local company to bring their game to market. Perfect World are also readying Neverwinter for a Chinese launch later this year - though it’s worth noting they own developers Cryptic outright these days.
Dota 2 is already far-and-away the most-played game on Steam. Do we expect to see its numbers finally begin to rival those of League of Legends
once it rolls out across China?