didn't have the best year in 2009 -- Blizzard
decided to take away its ability to run World of Warcraft
in China, and as a result, the company reported a Cataclysmic drop in revenues
. But the company doesn't want you counting it out of the MMO game just yet: Reuters says that The9 has invested almost $15 million into the ailing Red 5 Studios
(which, coincidentally, is staffed by some ex-Blizzard employees) as well as China-based developer Fire Rain. Last we'd heard of Red 5, it was working on some kind of fantasy MMO
, though that may have since changed to an MMOFPS. There's definitely an MMO game of some kind; The studio told our buds at Massively that even with The9's help, the game will be aimed at a worldwide market
, not just Chinese players.
Time will tell if The9 has a solid strategy to rebound after the big loss of WoW
, or if it's desperately trying to invest the last bit of capital to keep the company alive. Red 5's work has always seemed interesting -- here's hoping this infusion is enough to get it to a worthwhile release.