Ontario – G4Box Inc. and SilverBirch Inc. have launched the closed beta of the highly-anticipated free to play online game Cross Fire, the companies announced today. The closed beta of Cross Fire, is an award-winning, free-to-play, online military first-person shooter game for PCs. The 10,000 closed beta keys available were oversubscribed and gone in less than 10 hours.
The closed beta, which went live on November 7th, will run for approximately one month. During this time, Cross Fire will offer gamers an opportunity to play one of four high adrenaline game modes prior to the open beta planned for December 2008. The commercial launch is scheduled for January, 2009. Gamers can to continue to download the game for free at: www.crossfire-en.com
“The response to the English version of Cross Fire has far exceeded our expectations,” said Kevin Astle, Interim President and CEO of SilverBirch. “Cross Fire’s fast-paced action, superb graphics and compelling features have already made it a hotly anticipated game among English-language gamers.”
Prior to going live, the Cross Fire website received more than 1,900,000 hits leading up to the launch. Two-thirds of these hits originated from the United States. In Asia, Cross Fire is already a runaway hit. In less than 9 months, The Asian version has achieved tens of millions of registered players and has reached in excess of 500,000 concurrent users playing the game online at the same time.
“Cross Fire has been a huge success in China, Japan, Vietnam and other Asian markets,” said Howard He, CEO of G4Box, noting that the game is now more popular in Vietnam than World of Warcraft. “Based on the positive initial response from North American gamers, we look forward to replicating this success for the English-language version.”
G4Box and SilverBirch hold the English language rights to Cross Fire in North America and the UK, and hold further rights to the game in Europe.
The Cross Fire story line features two international mercenary forces locked in a global struggle. Players assume the role of either a Black List terrorist or Global Risk mercenary, and then join an online team that must work together to complete objective-based scenarios. The game has four online modes: Team Death Match, Team Match, Annihilation Match and the all-new Ghost Match. Based on their performance in-game, players will receive experience points and be promoted through various military ranks. More information on the game, including a movie simulation, can be found at http://www.crossfire-en.com/movies.aspx.
Revenue opportunities are generated through Cross Fire’s in-game item shop, where players can customize their character’s equipment and appearance by making online purchases. The game’s English-language version is expected to begin generating revenue shortly after the commercial launch goes live in January 2009.
Cross Fire is part of a worldwide online game market forecasted by DFC Intelligence to grow from US$3.4 billion in 2005 to over US$13 billion in 2011. Fifty-five percent of that growth will be derived from MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing) games. Cross Fire has been selected as one of the PC titles to qualify the China team for the World Cyber Games (WCG) competition to be held in China next year. Other PC titles selected for the tournament include Warcraft III and Starcraft. The WCG tournament is the largest gaming event in the world.