Chinese companies to take slice from Warcraft feast

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-05-30 14:23:50

Chinese companies are betting on the huge fan base of popular fantasy game "World of Warcraft" (WoW), estimated to be around 100 million, to help them cash-in on an adapted Hollywood film, set for release in China next month.

Although the film, "Warcraft," will not hit cinemas until June 8, pre-sale tickets, for midnight screenings on premiere day, have generated more than 10 million yuan (1.52 million U.S. dollars), according to, an online ticket sales platform.

China is one of the biggest markets for Blizzard Entertainment's WoW, which has more than 5 million players worldwide. There are more than 1 million active users in China, according to the WoW website.

In 2009, after the former operator of the game, The9, lost its license to Netease, revenues dropped by more than 90 percent.

In recent years the number of WoW players has declined, and there were rumors that Blizzard was considering pulling the plug on the program.

However, the game has a committed, and growing fan base in China, which may have encouraged Chinese companies to take a gamble on the franchise.

The film was backed by investment from Dalian Wanda, which in January bought a controlling stake in Legendary Entertainment, one of the producers of the film. In addition, China Film Co. Ltd. and Huayi Brothers poured money into the film project., a database of information related to movies in China, has secured the rights to produce and sell "Warcraft" spin-off products in China such as action figures, key-rings and mobile phone shells.

Meisheng Culture, a Shanghai-listed company, is the sole Warcraft toy provider in China.

But, perhaps, the movie is only for fans. Initial reviews posted on Metacritic, a review website, gave the movie just 37/100, much lower than many expected.


Warcraft movie to hit Chinese screens before US release

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