ECBattle, a web-based Real Time Strategy (RTS) game is approaching private test. According to Jimmy Chu, the founder of Nethop Limited, the owner of ECBattle, the private test is aimed to start at mid-March. Jimmy Chu founded the company in September 2007 in HongKong and his team is currently based in Guangzhou.
Jimmy said, “ECBattle is a web-based game, everything happens in the browser. The gameplay will be similar to a usual real-time strategy game – the player builds structures, then builds the troops, and attack other players, except that the game will happen in a much longer time frame. For example, building a structure will take 1 hrs, building a foot-soldier unit will take 30 minutes.”
No installation, no client download. The game is targeted for grown-ups who like strategy game, but cannot commit a big chunk of time to play it. “It is hard to play War Craft without setting 1-2 hrs aside everyday. But in our game, you can give a series of orders to your armies in the morning and then you can log off and get back to work. Then you come back after lunch and give another series of orders. So, they can enjoy the strategy game collaboratively/competitively with, hopefully, many other online players without a big upfront time commitment.” Jimmy said, ” Once the user gets used to the pace of the game and start interacting with other users, it will become part of a life routine, like checking email. So it is sticky for users.” Jimmy is very confident with this project.
Above is a screenshot of a city in ECBattle.
There have been quite a few web-based RTS games running in this market, Warlord and Skywar might be the hottest ones operated by Chinese companies. Travian which is developed by a Germany company has launched its Chinese site and managed to attract many Chinese players. So how would ECBattle compete with them, we have to wait for another 2 months to find it out. The Internet is regarded as the next operating system, we have web-based office suite (Zoho, Google Documents etc), web-based Operating System (eyeOS etc), web-based Instant Messagers (Meebo etc), web-based email client (Gmail etc), with the fast development of Rich Internet Application (RIA) technology (Ajax), we definitely need more online entertainment other than video and music, web-based game has become a very interesting market.