The9 and Blizzard Entertainment Announce Success in World of Warcraft(R) All-Access Open Beta Test in China

May 16, 2005, 01:00 ET from The9 Limited

    SHANGHAI, China, May 16 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The9 Limited (Nasdaq:  
 NCTY), a leading online game operator and developer in China and Blizzard
 Entertainment(R), Inc., today announced that World of Warcraft(R), the leading
 online game across the world, has achieved peak concurrency, including queued
 players, of approximately 500,000 players in the first week of its All-access
 Open Beta Test.
     On April 26, 2005, The9 and Blizzard Entertainment launched the World of
 Warcraft All-access Open Beta Test.  On that night, internet cafes throughout
 China became filled with players and the first seeds of life were planted in
 the land of Azeroth.
     The first two data centers in China, hosting close to 100 servers, were
 full in just a few hours after launching in the early morning of April 26.
 During peak times, the All-access Open Beta was so popular that queuing
 players on each server reached 2000.  Three days later, Blizzard and The9
 opened a third data center.  In less than one hour, all of these new servers
 were full to capacity as well.  The overwhelming appeal of World of Warcraft
 has shocked the whole of China by exciting millions of Chinese players in just
 a few days.
     Achieving a peak concurrency of approximately 500,000, including queued
 players, is just the beginning for Blizzard and The9. In order to provide a
 safe and stable gaming environment to more and more players, we are
 accelerating deployment of the upcoming fourth data center. In addition, we
 will set up more servers to offer the best game experience for players.
     Meanwhile, we will continuously provide updates of game content to give
 players even more features and adventures to experience. The widely-expected
 Honor System and Battlegrounds, as well as other game enhancements, have
 entered the testing phase and will be released to the public soon.
     In World of Warcraft, players assume the roles of legendary heroes and
 interact with thousands of other players online as they explore and adventure
 across a vast world. Whether journeying together or questing on their own,
 players will engage in heroic battles, develop friendships, forge alliances,
 and compete with enemies for power and glory. The game features customizable
 character classes with thousands of weapons, spells, and abilities. With an
 innovative, easy-to-use interface, an action-packed combat system, and
 thousands of quests that build an immersive storyline, World of Warcraft
 offers a massively multiplayer online role playing game (''MMORPG'')
 experience that will appeal to both veteran and casual players alike.
 
     About The9 Limited
     The9 Limited is a leading online game operator and developer in China.
 Currently, The9's business is primarily focused on operating and developing
 MMORPGs which would allow thousands of players to concurrently log on to
 network servers to ''role-play" characters in a virtual world.
     The9 operates MU in China through 9Webzen Limited, a joint venture in
 which The9 owns 51%.  MU is a 3D MMORPG licensed from Webzen Inc., a Korean
 online game developer and operator.  The9 has also obtained exclusive licenses
 to operate additional MMORPGs in China, including ''World of Warcraft''
 (''WoW'') licensed from Vivendi Universal Games, ''Mystina Online'' and
 ''ZhiZun'' licensed from online game developers in China, and ''Granado
 Espada'' licensed from Hanbitsoft, Inc., a Korean online game developer.  In
 addition, The9 has developed its first proprietary MMORPG titled ''Joyful
 Journey West'' (''JJW'').
     The9 commercially launched MU and Mystina Online in early 2003 and early
 2005, respectively, and expects to commercially launch WoW, JJW and ZhiZun in
 China in 2005.  Since it commenced operations in 1999, The9 has experienced
 substantial growth and become one of the largest online game operators in
 China.
 
     Safe Harbor Statement
     This announcement contains forward-looking statements.  These statements
 are made under the ''safe harbor'' provisions of the U.S. Private Securities
 Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements can be
 identified by terminology such as ''will,'' ''expects,'' ''anticipates,''
 ''future,'' ''intends,'' ''plans,'' ''believes,'' ''estimates'' and similar
 statements.  The9 may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in
 its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Forms
 20-F and 6-K, etc., in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases
 and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers,
 directors or employees to third parties.  Statements that are not historical
 facts, including statements about The9's beliefs and expectations, are
 forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks
 and uncertainties.  A number of important factors could cause actual results
 to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
 Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, The9's
 limited operating history as an online game operator, The9's ability to retain
 existing players and attract new players, license, develop or acquire
 additional online games that are appealing to users, anticipate and adapt to
 changing consumer preferences and respond to competitive market conditions,
 and other risks and uncertainties outlined in The9's filings with the U.S.
 Securities and Exchange Commission, including its registration statement on
 Form F-1, as amended.  The9 does not undertake any obligation to update any
 forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.
 
     For more information, please contact:
 
      Ms. Hannah Lee
      The9 Limited
      Tel:    +86-21-3217-4567 x9990
      Email:  IR@corp.the9.com
 
 

SOURCE The9 Limited
    SHANGHAI, China, May 16 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The9 Limited (Nasdaq:  
 NCTY), a leading online game operator and developer in China and Blizzard
 Entertainment(R), Inc., today announced that World of Warcraft(R), the leading
 online game across the world, has achieved peak concurrency, including queued
 players, of approximately 500,000 players in the first week of its All-access
 Open Beta Test.
     On April 26, 2005, The9 and Blizzard Entertainment launched the World of
 Warcraft All-access Open Beta Test.  On that night, internet cafes throughout
 China became filled with players and the first seeds of life were planted in
 the land of Azeroth.
     The first two data centers in China, hosting close to 100 servers, were
 full in just a few hours after launching in the early morning of April 26.
 During peak times, the All-access Open Beta was so popular that queuing
 players on each server reached 2000.  Three days later, Blizzard and The9
 opened a third data center.  In less than one hour, all of these new servers
 were full to capacity as well.  The overwhelming appeal of World of Warcraft
 has shocked the whole of China by exciting millions of Chinese players in just
 a few days.
     Achieving a peak concurrency of approximately 500,000, including queued
 players, is just the beginning for Blizzard and The9. In order to provide a
 safe and stable gaming environment to more and more players, we are
 accelerating deployment of the upcoming fourth data center. In addition, we
 will set up more servers to offer the best game experience for players.
     Meanwhile, we will continuously provide updates of game content to give
 players even more features and adventures to experience. The widely-expected
 Honor System and Battlegrounds, as well as other game enhancements, have
 entered the testing phase and will be released to the public soon.
     In World of Warcraft, players assume the roles of legendary heroes and
 interact with thousands of other players online as they explore and adventure
 across a vast world. Whether journeying together or questing on their own,
 players will engage in heroic battles, develop friendships, forge alliances,
 and compete with enemies for power and glory. The game features customizable
 character classes with thousands of weapons, spells, and abilities. With an
 innovative, easy-to-use interface, an action-packed combat system, and
 thousands of quests that build an immersive storyline, World of Warcraft
 offers a massively multiplayer online role playing game (''MMORPG'')
 experience that will appeal to both veteran and casual players alike.
 
     About The9 Limited
     The9 Limited is a leading online game operator and developer in China.
 Currently, The9's business is primarily focused on operating and developing
 MMORPGs which would allow thousands of players to concurrently log on to
 network servers to ''role-play" characters in a virtual world.
     The9 operates MU in China through 9Webzen Limited, a joint venture in
 which The9 owns 51%.  MU is a 3D MMORPG licensed from Webzen Inc., a Korean
 online game developer and operator.  The9 has also obtained exclusive licenses
 to operate additional MMORPGs in China, including ''World of Warcraft''
 (''WoW'') licensed from Vivendi Universal Games, ''Mystina Online'' and
 ''ZhiZun'' licensed from online game developers in China, and ''Granado
 Espada'' licensed from Hanbitsoft, Inc., a Korean online game developer.  In
 addition, The9 has developed its first proprietary MMORPG titled ''Joyful
 Journey West'' (''JJW'').
     The9 commercially launched MU and Mystina Online in early 2003 and early
 2005, respectively, and expects to commercially launch WoW, JJW and ZhiZun in
 China in 2005.  Since it commenced operations in 1999, The9 has experienced
 substantial growth and become one of the largest online game operators in
 China.
 
     Safe Harbor Statement
     This announcement contains forward-looking statements.  These statements
 are made under the ''safe harbor'' provisions of the U.S. Private Securities
 Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements can be
 identified by terminology such as ''will,'' ''expects,'' ''anticipates,''
 ''future,'' ''intends,'' ''plans,'' ''believes,'' ''estimates'' and similar
 statements.  The9 may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in
 its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Forms
 20-F and 6-K, etc., in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases
 and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers,
 directors or employees to third parties.  Statements that are not historical
 facts, including statements about The9's beliefs and expectations, are
 forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks
 and uncertainties.  A number of important factors could cause actual results
 to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
 Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, The9's
 limited operating history as an online game operator, The9's ability to retain
 existing players and attract new players, license, develop or acquire
 additional online games that are appealing to users, anticipate and adapt to
 changing consumer preferences and respond to competitive market conditions,
 and other risks and uncertainties outlined in The9's filings with the U.S.
 Securities and Exchange Commission, including its registration statement on
 Form F-1, as amended.  The9 does not undertake any obligation to update any
 forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.
 
     For more information, please contact:
 
      Ms. Hannah Lee
      The9 Limited
      Tel:    +86-21-3217-4567 x9990
      Email:  IR@corp.the9.com
 
 SOURCE  The9 Limited