Shanda Games Going Private

Shanda Games has announced it will go private, leaving the Nasdaq where it is traded under the symbol GAME. Capitalhold Limited will acquire Shanda at $3.55 per share, valuing the company at $1.9 billion. Giant Interactive went private last year, and Perfect World also plans to go private. This means three of the major nine previously-publicly traded Chinese online game operators will have gone private.

Xbox One Region Unlocked in China

Much has been written about Xbox One in China, and now there are discussions about whether Xbox One is not actually region-locked, meaning it can play games purchased overseas. At an Xbox One preview demonstration, users learned that their Xbox One console will actually be able to run games purchased overseas rather than only domestically approved titles. The console was unlocked and became “region-free” after a firmware update on April 6th, and then was seemingly able to recognize and run foreign games. This means that the Xbox One China version will be able to download any updates and add-ons for these titles as well, but the console does not allow purchase and download of overseas versions of games, only the use of foreign CDs. Watch for Niko’s Chinese Console and TV-based Gaming Report in June 2015.

Philippine Senator Tries to Aid a DoTA 2 Team

In an unusual action by Philippine immigration officials, Philippine members of an e-sports team were routed back to the Philippines for no apparent reason and a local senator is trying to help them out. Last Friday, April 3, 2015, three members of Korea-based Philippine DoTA 2 team “Rave” were asked by immigration officials to disembark from their return flight to Korea, citing incomplete exit documentation. In a statement released by Senator Benigno Paolo “Bam” Aquino, the senator demanded the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) to explain why Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa, Mark “Cast” Pilar and Djardel “Chrissy” Mampusti were offloaded from their AirAsia flight back to Korea last April 3, 2015. The team was en route to return to their gaming house in Incheon, Korea, to practice and prepare for two international tournaments: Electronic Sports League (ESL) One Frankfurt 2015 and RedBull Battle Grounds.