Having conquered Korea, Electronic Arts announces plans to take soccer game "FIFA Online 3" to China.
Pop idol Kim Hyuna represents "FIFA Online 3" in Korea.
Electronic Arts' COO Peter Moore was effervescent during the company's July earnings call.
He described the deal with TenCent, which has investments in Epic Games ("Gears of War") and Riot Games ("League of Legends") as "the world's biggest online publisher bringing the world's biggest sports game to the world's biggest market."
The agreement means that "FIFA Online 3," which EA says is Korea's most popular, biggest earning sports game, as well as overall second most popular title in internet cafés, will expand to not only China but also Vietnam and Thailand.
It underlines the strength of EA's interest in both Asian gamers and digitally distributed franchises, with "FIFA Online" income powered by players' desire for enhancements such as extra team members and temporary performance boosts.
But its supremacy in Korea comes about after years of development -- "FIFA Online 2" was released in 2006, based on retail titles "FIFA 06" and "FIFA 07," then superceded by the non-numbered "FIFA Online" in 2010 and finally "FIFA Online 3" in 2012.
Beta testing is projected to begin in the final three months of 2013.
Official Chinese site: eafifa.qq.com
"FIFA Online 3" in Korea: fifaonline3.nexon.com