PlayNoEvil reports, "Giant Interactive had been running the 'crack house' of free-to-play gaming with its (once? still?) immensely popular game ZT Online. In the third quarter, the company moved away from its heavy reliance on purchased items towards steadier playing." That is to say, they're cutting back on the extent to which the game, and its gear, is monetized. It's not often that an MMO developer or publisher assesses the situation and intentionally opts to earn less money, but in terms of ZT Online's longevity, Giant Interactive Chairman and CEO Yuzhu Shi believes this is the right way to expand the title's playerbase. Despite this shift in business model, average revenue per user dropped to roughly $41, suggesting they're still earning a great deal of money from the title, years into its life. Indeed, ZT Online is enjoying
Clarification: Comparison between ZT Online and World of Warcraft revenues in China is on a per-user basis. Updated text in bold.