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NetEase bringing Peter Molyneux's The Trail to China

22Cans secures partnership for its second Eastern release, game due to launch in Q3 2017

UK developer 22Cans has signed a deal that will see Peter Molyneux's latest title released in China.

The Trail: A Frontier Journey will be brought to iOS and Android in this key Asian market by Chinese publisher NetEase. The partnership was announced at the company's annual 520 event, alongside a number of other Western games now slated for a Chinese release, including Zynga's Dawn of Titans.

Due for release in the third quarter of 2017, The Trail is a free-to-play survival adventure game that sees players trekking through harsh landscapes to reach a new settlement. Along the way, they hunt animals and collect materials that can be used to create new equipment or goods that can be traded with other travellers.

Since the game is free-to-play, it's unlikely to require any major alterations for the Chinese market beyond localisation. China's games industry is dominated by free-to-play games - hence the common decision to convert premium games such as Rocket League to this model.

In a statement, Molyneux said: ""It is truly an honour to present The Trail with NetEase to Chinese gamers. I will be fascinated to see how Chinese gamers work together, what clothes will players make, how far will they explore and whose town will be the best."

While there are no concrete figures on how much The Trail has generated for the studio since its launch last year, NetEase claims the game has "performed outstandingly in overseas markets" and is confident of a similar reception in China.

This is the second title 22Cans has released in China, having previously secured a publishing deal with LongTu Games for a localised version of crowdfunded strategy title Godus.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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