THQ announced yesterday that it will open a new office in Shanghai in order to tap into what the company terms "the fast growing Chinese market."
THQ has plans to launch Company of Heroes Online in China later in its fiscal year. The free-to-play RTS game will be based on a micro-transaction-driven business model. THQ exec Martin Good commented:
The Asian markets represent a significant growth opportunity for THQ, particularly as we execute on our strategy to grow revenue from online gaming, an increasingly important segment for our industry. We look forward to continuing to build new publishing and development relationships in China to expand our presence in this important and fast growing gaming market.
According to THQ, China's online games market was valued at $1.7 billion last year, with some 42 million players. Expectations are that the market will expand to $4.2 billion by 2010.