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Mtone Wireless launched mobile online game ¡°Legend of the Three Realms II¡±

Beijing, April 5, 2005 ¨C Mtone Wireless has launched the commercial operation of its second self-developed wireless online game, ¡°Legend of the Three Realms II¡±.

This latest version of the game has expanded the applicability to 46 different handset models on the market, even including those that only cost 1500 RMB. Players can download the game to mobile phones that support JAVA services, simply by sending a ¡°sj¡± text message to ¡°18189966¡±.

Last October, Mtone Wireless Communication Corporation, China¡¯s leading mobile value-added services provider, successfully launched its self-developed wireless online game, ¡°Legend of the Three Realms¡±.

The game cost Mtone Wireless 3 years and a total of 10 million RMB to R&D. As the world¡¯s first large-scale mobile online game, ¡°Legend of the Three Realms¡± attracted 150,000 registered users within four months after its official launch.

Successful and popular as it was, the game was only available to users of Motorola¡¯s E680 series mobile phones.

This newly launched game, ¡°Legend of the Three Realm II¡±, however, is supported by as many as 46 different handset models and available to any China Mobile¡¯s GPRS subscriber. Furthermore, the company has also improved the video quality and some interactive functions of the game.

During a one-month trial operation, ¡°Legend of the Three Realm II¡± had an average of 150 users online simultaneously every day. Encouraged by that, the company now expects to see a profit from the game by 2006.

Founded in Silicon Valley in 1994, Mtone Wireless is now the leading developer and provider of interactive entertainment services as well as social networking in China. Its mobile services span across SMS, WAP, MMS, IVR and K-java platforms.

As a pioneer in China¡¯s mobile online games, the goal of Mtone Wireless is to reach every mobile phone user in China and become the largest mobile multi-user game and entertainment provider. It foster long-term customer loyalty by emphasizing subscription-based services allowing customers to socialize, communicate, compete, role play and form relationships with each other in engaging virtual environment.

Mtone Wireless provided the early WAP services to China Mobile in 2000 and created the first virtual mobile friend in 2002. The company also launched the highly successful SMS game, ¡°Cell Phone¡±, in 2003, coinciding the movie with same name, which was directed by the famous Chinese director, Feng Xiaogang.

The company has built a nationwide distribution channel through partnerships with over 70 provincial mobile carriers and marketing activities in the top 200 cities in China.

¡°Legend of the Three Realm II¡± is set in Tang Dynasty and its ancient capital Chang¡¯an, where players not only participate in a large and complicated social system, but also experience a virtual alliance and friendship.

During the game, players can develop their character from a lowly common person into a powerful and influential leader of the society, by having the character learn different kinds of technique and accomplish a variety of tasks. Meanwhile, players can interact directly with others by sending each other instant messages.

Mtone Wireless charges a monthly fee of 12 RMB once players surpass the fifth skill level. Addition to that, players also need to pay data flow fees to China Mobile.

The global market of mobile online games is now the most promising sector in the game market. According to figures released by Informa, the London-based consulting firm, the gross sales of mobile online games will increase from 243 million US dollars globally in 2002 to 3.8 billion US dollars in 2007.

Another international research firm, Frost & Sullivan, said that the global mobile online game sector would be worth of 4.4 billion US dollars by 2006.

Similar to their counterparts in Japan, South Korea, US and many other countries, Chinese consumers are also tired of the conventional simple games pre-installed in their mobile phones and are eager for higher-end online games.

In 2004, the number of Chinese wireless game subscribers reached 2 million after China Mobile rolled out its wireless online game services, ¡°Treasure Box¡±, in September 2003.

According to the analysts, a booming development of mobile online games will take place in China in the year of 2006. Victor Wang, CEO and President of Mtone Wireless, however, said the rapid growth would come earlier than expected.

¡°Due to the enthusiastic response from the mobile phone users, and continuously increasing investment by wireless value-added service developers and providers, the mobile online sector will experience a rapid growth this year,¡± said Wang. He estimated that by the end of 2005, another two or three outstanding wireless online games would also begin commercial operation.

A successful mobile online game needs to have instant interaction and a colorful and smooth image. Not specially designed for online games, many current handset models in China have relatively small size of information storage and simplistic platform. But industrial experts say a development of wireless telecom technology and the upgrade of mobile phone terminals as well as the telecom network is taking place.

Currently, a large number of mobile phone makers are sparing no efforts to develop new models. In 2004, the total sales of mobile phones in China, the world¡¯s largest mobile phone market, hit 73 million, with a total revenue of 130 billion RMB. The sales amount in 2005 is estimated close to 80 million. 

According to the research by Mtone Wireless, over 90 per cent of the new handset models released in the year of 2005 have color screen and JAVA technology. Thus, at least 70 to 80 million mobile phones in China are applicable for online games. 

According to a latest report, China¡¯s mobile online game market was valued at 550 million RMB by the end of 2004. Lured by the huge market potential, many content and service providers have set up special R&D teams for developing mobile online games.

Although SMS, or Short Messaging Services, still remains the dominant source of revenues for the wireless value-added service market, analysts believe the mobile online game will gradually take its place and become the most important sector.

About ¡°Legend of Three Realms¡±

Mtone Wireless has developed and operated the first commercial MMMRPG (Multiplayer Mail-based Role-Playing Game) in the world---"The legend of The Three Realms ", a game that is focused on the Chinese market and is set in the Tang Dynasty.

It allows game players to develop their character from a lowly common person into a powerful and influential leader of society. This character meanwhile learns all kinds of techniques in order to finish different tasks. He can directly interact with other players by chatting and competing with them and finally, they participate in their own factions respectively.

In this game, there are large social systems, including an economic system, a fair trade system, and a system for building alliances and friendships so that game players can experience a virtual society.

Further details on the game can be found at http://sanjie.mtone.com.cn

About Mtone Wireless Corporation

Mtone Wireless Corporation is one of China¡¯s leading providers of wireless interactive entertainment services to mobile phone users in China. It specializes in providing multiple services including online multi-user gaming that drive customer to customer interactions including competition, socialization, communications, role playing all integrated into virtual environments and games. These capabilities support music, sports, humor, and other mobile entertainment applications.

Founded in Silicon Valley in 1994, Mtone Wireless has been a pioneer in China¡¯s mobile value-added services market and commercialized the first wireless stock trading system and mobile information services with China Telecom in 1998. Mtone Wireless has substantial technical experience and expertise to manage complex applications now characterizing the emerging applications. It has developed mobile applications services using WAP for information browsing, MMS for information transmission, interactive voice response (IVR) for voice and audio services and a series of multi-user games for K-java enabled handsets.

 
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