A persistent, online-only version of Relic's show-stopper PC RTS Company of Heroes is in the pipeline - but it'll be exclusive to China.
Reported on1up.com, the developer and THQ plan to tackle rampant PC piracy in the country by making the WWII game online-only.
This means that Chinese players will be able to, essentially, level-up a character and climb through military rank via PvP and multiplayer co-op in new gameplay modes. Presumably, then, players band up to form units.
"...there is no PC retail market here due to rampant piracy - everything you buy is a pirated version. So you have to make your game online-only and modify the design to be culturally viable in the market," Tim Holman, Company of Heroes Online producer, explained about the imitative to break the series into the Chinese market.
"The whole industry wants to court the country (official population: 1.3 billion, with some estimates putting it as high as 1.7 billion), it's just that [we] don't know how. Publishers will localize a game, toss it over the fence, and then scratch their heads as to why it's not selling," Holman said.
"There is a big difference between localization and culturalization - if you're doing the former, don't bother."
Apr 2, 2008