Astounding 4 mio. PCU (peak concurrent users) in Cross Fire have been recorded. That even breaks the record of February this year, the free shooter still gains huge popularity in China.
Publishers Neowiz Games and Tencent announced that the free-to-play FPS Cross Fire has reached an incredible 4 mio. gamers, battling at the same time in China. It topped 3.5 mio. PCU earlier this year and doesn't seem to lose popularity.
Cross Fire was one of the first free FPS in China, introduced by Korean based publisher Neowiz Games and is published by Chinese giant Tencent since 2008. In August 2010 Tencent recorded 2 mio. PCU, a year later they saw 3 mio. and reached 4 mio. this year. That's an 1 mio. PCU increase per year, and again, it simply does not seem like it would lose momentum in the next time.
Hard to imagine the sheer masses of servers, engineers and personnel to accomodate 4 mio. gamers.
On the other hand, Cross Fire evolved to a multi-million-dollar cashcow, leading to a bizarr dispute between Neowiz Games and Smilegate. Neowiz Games operates the Korean games portal Pmang.com and launched Smilegate's Cross Fire in Korea first. Later on both agreed that Neowiz Games is to publish Cross Fire in Asia, including China. Neowiz Games teamed up with Tencent and without major expectations, the FPS turned out to be an enormous hit. Now developer Smilegate is wanting to get a larger piece of the cake, gross revenue from China is paid out to Neowiz Games who keeps a certain percentage.
The dispute between Neowiz Games and Smilegate is still ongoing, Smilegate approached Tencent directly with the intention to bypass Neowiz Games. It seems a bit like an act of retaliation, as Neowiz Games took off Cross Fire from the Korean portal. With other words, Cross Fire is enjoying a massive success in China, but is no longer available in Korea, where both parties find themselves in court. Read along at thisisgame.com.