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CSL may be part of new FIFA Online 2

FIFA Online 2, the online version of one of the world's most popular soccer games, will begin tests on the Chinese mainland on April 22 and may include the Chinese soccer league for the first time in FIFA's history.

The game is operated by Shanghai-based The9 Ltd, which aims to diversify income through new games, including FIFA Online 2. The Nasdaq-listed firm now heavily depends on the World of WarCraft online game for more than 90 percent of its income, and market watchers said this over-dependence is viewed as a risky strategy.

"We are applying to add the Chinese Super League into the game as we aim to provide the players a most localized FIFA," said Chen Xiaowei, The9's president.

FIFA Online 2, developed by United States-based Electronic Arts, features 30 licensed leagues, more than 10,000 players, 31 stadiums and authentic team kits, including the Chinese national team.

Zhu Jun, The9's founder and chairman, also said the company tried to put CSL in the FIFA game when it decided to introduce the sports game into China. Zhu is also a major investor in Shanghai Shenhua, the local soccer team and one of 16 teams in the CSL.

The FIFA game series revenue reached US$2 billion worldwide up to now, according to market sources.

The launch of the popular sports game is part of The9's "diversified strategy." The9 will launch a diversified range of five to six games, including sports, casual, dance and role playing game, this year, according to Chen.



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