Despite declining stock value, Giant Interactive — the company behind the intriguing MMO Zhengtu Online, which is a mix of MMO, gambling, real money transactions, and gold farming — is still tearing up the Chinese market. Steve of PlayNoEvil has some interesting analysis up of some recent numbers, which have indicated the the average revenue per player has dropped to around $US66 (RMB 282). Giant is moving to encourage 'steadier' playing, instead of simply buying up cash shop items like there's no tomorrow, so the drop was expected. Still, the money being made is pretty impressive for a domestic game (drop and all):
Net revenue was RMB265.20 million or $63 million, a decrease of 34.6% from RMB405.25 million a year ago, mainly on lower online game net revenue, which was adversely impacted by adjustments made to the monetisation features within ZT Online. Analysts expected revenues of $103 million for the quarter.
Gross profit declined 40.9% year-over-year to RMB212.5 million or $50 million, and gross profit margin fell to 80.1% from 88.8% in the third quarter 2007.
Active paying accounts for online games declined 31.6% to 937 thousand, and average revenue per user dropped 4.4% to RMB282.1. Meanwhile, average concurrent users for online games rose 9% from last year to 543 thousand.
Wowee. The interesting thing here is in many Chinese articles I've read, players have cited 'cost' as a reason they are moving from WoW; clearly, some players are not spending less on domestic games. Even considering the drops in revenue and other indicators, sounds like Giant is steaming along — perhaps their unholy mix of 'illicit' MMO features being sanctioned really is just the ticket.