China-based NetDragon Websoft has announced that it has acquired the Dungeon Keeper license from Electronic Arts with a view to developing an MMO based on the franchise.
The game, to be called Dungeon Keeper Online, will be operated by NetDragon throughout China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, but may also make the leap to other regions as well, according to the company's chairman Liu Dejian.
"We are delighted to enter into an agreement with EA in the development of our first 3D MMOG," he said. "Our partnership with this internationally renowned game developer is proof of our capabilities in game operations and development as well as a reflection of our market reputation.
"Capitalising our strength to create a strong gaming experience, powerful operating platform and unmatched expertise within China's online game market, we are confident that Dungeon Keeper Online will not only become successful in the Greater China region but also achieve remarkable results overseas."
And EA Asia Pacific president Jon Niermann - interviewed recently by GamesIndustry.biz - added: "The partnership marks a significant milestone for EA as it will enhance our intellectual property and extend our product reach throughout the Greater China region. It will also further enhance our intellectual property with differentiated, high-quality games, particularly in the field of MMOGs."
No predicted launch date for the game, for which the original was an RTS designed by Peter Molyneux's Bullfrog back in 1999, was released.