CEO Chen Tianqiao of Shanda Interactive Entertainment says that the company has not been too concerned by continued visits by the FBI checking into whether or not the online game said to be America’s “Second Life” virtual world, is gambling related.
According to The Financial Times, Chen’s company’s swords-and-sorcery gameplay has made it China’s biggest Internet company, and they intend to expand their Nasdaq-listed company beyond the online gaming milieu.
There is also a growing worldwide interest the kind of game style that is being offered by Second Life. Second Life was founded by Linden Labs in 2003 in San Francisco.
Well beyond the racecar variety and guns and violence of standard game offerings, Second Life encourages players to build up and to actually trade virtual property, to actually live an internet version of modern life.
In the Financial Times article Chen is quoted as saying that, his company wants to diversify their games. He says that the company is only interested in what attracts player attention and that they are considering going in the direction of a Second Life type of approach.
Chen, the chairman of Shanda Interactive Entertainment, fold to mention if or when their Shanghai-based company might come out with a title of this kind, nor did he offer any further details.
HiPiHi is another Chinese company that is based in Beijing that is working on a Second Life-style title for the Internet. This could be bad news for them in their endeavor to come up with a copy of the United States based game. At the present time HiPiHi has begun testing its game with about 2 000 registered players.
Chen however, is still confident that the success of a game such as Second Life is based on the speedy emergence of a large “virtual community” of players. Such a community of players makes it possible for Shanda Interactive Entertainment with its millions of online players for its online games, to compete successfully.
Because of it giant user base, Chen says that the company is not threatened by competition. He also notes that the company is very strong on the technical side.
There are two elements of the Second Life virtual world that would be extremely difficult to replicate in China and they are the presentation of online sex and of gambling. In Beijing, there has been increased efforts to control what is seen on the Internet as the ruling Communist party Politburo is calling for increased online promotion of Marxism and a removal of what it terms “decadent” content.