CrossFire is China's most played FPS game and a billion dollar cashcow. While Korea-based studio Smilegate Entertainment is working on its sequel since 2013, today's news is: Chinese publisher The9 announced that its joint venture Oriental Shiny Star Ltd. striked a deal with Smilegate and got the license to publish Cross Fire 2 in China for a whopping fee of US$ 500 million.
Whoa, $500,000,000 for a free-to-play FPS license...
Cross Fire accounts for those astounding numbers, mostly coming from Chinese gamers: Smilegate claims to have recorded 6 mio. PCU (peak concurrent users) recently, 6 million gamers who connected to a Crossfire server at the same time! More than 500 mio. users from 80 countries have registered for Crossfire in the past years, but the majority play on Tencent's servers who operates the FPS in China.
But it's not Tencent who will provide services for the forthcoming sequel, together with Qihoo 360 Technology, an internet company, The9 formed a joint venture, titled "System Link Corporation" - a corporation that also operates the MMO shooter Firefall in China. The9 invested massively in Firefall and also got experience in operating MMOFPS through publishing PlanetSide 2 in China.
The agreement secures five exclusive years for Oriental Shiny Star to operate the FPS in China.
Development for Cross Fire 2 had started in 2013, Smilegate decided to built it utilizing Unreal Engine 3. Next to polished graphics and effects, the emphasis will be on PvE content.
Last year, Cross Fire 1 generated almost US$ 1 billion in revenue in China only, so if you do the maths, the numbers look right assuming that Cross Fire 2 would reach those revenue streams as the prequel does. If it ever will reach those levels...
Btw., we haven't mentioned this, but according to entertainment outlet Variety ‘Fast & Furious’ Producer Neal Moritz decided to make a movie of Korean "Hit Game" Crossfire.