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The9 revenues fall 94% following loss of Warcraft

Blizzard's decision to change license-holders hits Chinese operator hard

The9, the online operator based in China that was Blizzard's original choice to run World of Warcraft in the territory, has seen its revenues plummet spectacularly since the MMO's developer opted to transfer the license to NetEase earlier this year.

In a financial posting for its third fiscal quarter - the three months to the end of September - the company noted that revenues were down 91 per cent quarter-over-quarter and 94 per cent year-on-year to RMB 25.5 million (USD 3.7 million).

Meanwhile the company lost RMB 73.6 million (USD 10.8 million) - a number that was better than the previous quarter's loss of RMB 79.2 million (USD 11.6 million) but compared badly with the same quarter last year - a profit of RMB 80.5 million (USD 11.8 million).

"Although our revenue loss cannot be recovered within a short period of time, we are glad to see that our research and development capabilities continue to strengthen as a result of our investments," said Jun Zhu, chairman and CEO of the company. "Our proprietary games have shown substantive progress and a strong potential to be well received by Chinese game players."

And Xiaowei Chen, president, added: "It is encouraging that in the third quarter 2009 there has been sequential growth of 55 per cent in net revenue attributable to our current games. This was achieved due to the enhancement of our game portfolio diversification and we will continue our intense turnaround efforts."

Among the company's other games are Soul of The Ultimate Nation, Granado Espada, EA Sport's FIFA Online 2 and Atlantica.