On December 13th, China (and the rest of Asia, apparently, excluding Japan) will be treated to the dual release of a big-budget movie (starring Jet Li, Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro) and an MMO version of the film, both entitled The Warlords [投名狀] . My ears perked up at all of this for two reasons: (1) the setting is the Taiping Rebellion, during the waning years of the Qing dynasty (and one of my favourite subjects) and (2) announcements about impending MMO releases equal one thing in China: fantastically bad press releases. And indeed, NetDragon and the Central Motion Picture Corporation don't disappoint ('night-errant' culture?). The Warlords is apparently only the beginning - the NetDragon CEO makes references to even more games based on movies (and TV shows and books and ...). Full release after the jump, and lots more info at the game's website (in Chinese).
FUZHOU, China, Dec. 7 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The first domestic online game (Warlords Online) based on the film of the same name, which is jointly produced by Netdragon (Netdragon Websoft Inc. (SEHK GEM 8288) and Central Motion Picture Corp., will be tested officially for the first time on December 13. China's traditional recreational industry and emerging digital recreational industry will greet the first annual show of a landmark work, and it will become another important milestone in the development of China's recreational industry.
Warlords, directed by Chen Kexin, is an epic war film represented by Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Xu Jinglei. It profoundly depicts love between brothers and lovers.
Warlords Online ( tmz.91.com/ ) is the first large and realistic Oriental epic online game in ancient costumes in China based on the Chinese night-errant culture. Thanks to the efforts of NetDragon, Central Motion Picture Corp. and the team that produced the film Warlords, it vividly reproduces a disorderly society full of love and hatred under the background of the late Qing Dynasty by the super-realistic technique.
Warlords Online creates the unique opposition camps of the government and bandits and has a bodyguard system that is composed of as many as one hundred kinds of bodyguards' occupations, almost all in the Qing Dynasty. Especially, it builds the first pure "brother (sister)" system in online game history, and players can truly experience the meaning of the eight characters: share happiness and share difficulties. Moreover, it contains exciting super-large battles for attacking and defending cities to let players bring their wisdom into full play.
In eager expectation of numerous players, the game was first tested internally on November 30 at 3:00pm and the response was very enthusiastic. In order to satisfy the needs of a great number of players, the game operator decided to increase the activating code for internal testing by a wide margin at that time. The enthusiasm of players not only shows the star effect of Warlords, but also reflects the excellent brand image of NetDragon in the online game field.
The time for developing Warlords Online was very short, but the requirement for its quality was very high. "For NetDragon, it was a challenge, but an opportunity even more!" Liu DeJian, Chairman of NetDragon, noted: "This strategic cooperation between us and Central Motion Picture Corp. breaks through the conventional development pattern of the traditional recreational industry and emerging recreational industry and shows the new development direction for the game industry in particular. The success of Warlords Online is just a beginning and we expect there will be more and better online games adapted from films, TV plays and novels in the future."