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China's Changyou Acquires Major Game News Site

China's Changyou Acquires Major Game News Site

November 30, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

Leading Chinese online game developer and operator Changyou signed an agreement to purchase local game news site for $162.5 million from Sohu -- Changyou's majority stakeholder.

Founded in 2001 and purchased by online services firm Sohu in 2003, 17173 offers game-related news and advertising for various topics, including MMOs and eSports. It also features more than 650 dedicated game zones for popular titles.

Changyou is best known for creating and running client-based MMORPG Tian Long Ba Bu (known as Dragon Oath in North America) and web-based MMO DDTank. It began as a Sohu subsidiary before breaking off as a standalone company in 2007.

Sohu and Changyou expect to complete the transaction in December, and revised their existing non-competition agreement to disallow Sohu from challenging Changyou's 17173 business for five years once the deal has gone through.

Changyou says 17173 has a large userbase and media presence in the games sector, which it intends to develop services and tools for to create a "leading platform and one-stop-shop service-provide for gamers".

"Aside from news services, gamers today have needs for downloading, sharing, and trading services, as well as online community, and more," says Changyou CEO Tao Wang. "This acquisition will further drive our efforts to serve gamers not only on the product side, but also on the service side."

The firm adds that its mobile game initiatives and position in the web-based games space will enable it to grow 17173's news channels effectively, while its network of overseas game companies can help expand the portal in existing and new markets.

"The combination of Changyou and 17173 is expected to bring about synergies that will increase the shareholder value of both businesses over the long term, and Sohu will enjoy the benefit of any such increase as a majority shareholder in Changyou," says Sohu chairman and CEO Dr. Charles Zhang.

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