We had to check the date again before we wrote this.
According to this, Relic’s planning on launching Company of Heroes in China as an “‘experience for online gamers where players will be able to build their character up from private to general through new multiplayer cooperative missions, gameplay modes, and player-versus-player combat’ in a persistent RTS. Presumably, they have a quirky pay-to-play plan to match.”
The move, according to producer Tim Holman, comes from a need to hit the Chinese market but to do it in a way that works for the Chinese.
“Publishers will localize a game [for China], toss it over the fence, and then scratch their heads as to why it’s not selling,” said Holman. @There is a big difference between localization and culturalization — if you’re doing the former, don’t bother. In addition, there is no PC retail market here due to rampant piracy — everything you buy is a pirated version. So you have to make your game online-only and modify the design to be culturally viable in the market.”
Apparently this is taken from the Games for Windows mag in the States. More through the link.