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Worms conquer China

Three million of them.

The last time we caught a glimpse of Worms in one of its very many iterations was in the multiplayer-focussed Worms World Party back in 2000, before Team17 decided to shut itself away and get to work on developing the inevitable 3D follow-up to the game that made turn-based strategy cool.

However, it may come as a surprise to know that once the West had grown slowly tired of the warmongering annelids antics, the flattened Worms took a trip East and the PC version of the game is doing a roaring trade in China and Korea in the guise of OnlineWorms.

Specially tailored for the Asia Pacific market (the game looks virtually unchanged from its western version with the exception of a HUD update) by online games developer MGame, the OnlineWorms commercial service went live in China last Friday, but since the beta began a just few months ago the title has picked up an astonishing three million registered users. That's in China alone by the way, on top of the further three million already signed up in Korea where the game launched last year - an unprecedented achievement for a western title, let alone a British one.

Not satisfied with merely conquering Korea and China, Team17 and MGame now have their sights set on Taiwan and Japan, which would go hand-in-hand quite nicely with the franchise's resurrection over this way with the release of Worms 3D in October. Incidentally we've been playing Team17's latest incessantly all weekend, and you can expect our impressions once we manage to tear ourselves away from it long enough.

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Martin Taylor


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