Shanda’s Plans

Fortune writes about Shanda’s plans to go beyond online gaming with its set-top box:

Although industry analysts expect China’s online gaming industry will continue to expand by 35% a year for the next five years, Shanda is looking to diversify into other forms of interactive online entertainment. For a company used to doubling in size every year, 35% growth isn’t good enough. “If we want to keep Shanda growing very quickly,” Chen says, “we have to expand, to broaden our demographics.”

Like a character in one of his games, Chen wants to stay ahead of hungry competitors nipping at his heels, perhaps even slay one or two of them. So he has lined up 48 content partners to offer a wide variety of entertainment products appealing to many segments of the population. Chen imagines teenagers playing fantasy games, parents playing educational games with their children, grandparents playing chess or mahjong online, and whole families singing karaoke in front of their TV sets. “Maybe you can’t overcome the piracy problem on the content side,” Chen says, “but you can control the channel side and charge for it.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.