Analyst: The9 did very well last quarter

Chinese company The9 (which is the licensee for World of Warcraft in China) saw their stock rise after an analyst posted higher-than-expected estimates of their fourth-quarter profits. In short, more people are playing WoW in China than ever before. Which isn't surprising at all, given that right before the fourth quarter started, The9 released Burning Crusade over there. And we all know what kind of effect that had on the game on this side of the world.

However, there may still be dark clouds on the horizon for The9. As you probably know, Blizzard recently merged (along with its parent company, Vivendi) with Activision. And Activision is a competitor with EA... which owns a 15 percent stake in The9. So while The9 currently licenses WoW from Blizzard to sell and service in China, that relationship may be short-lived. And you can bet that will have an effect on the stock, if and when that deal ends.

But for now, The9 is going gangbusters, and Chinese players are enjoying Outland as much as we did last summer.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.