Over the past few years, Disney's
The family entertainment giant is now hoping to make a similar connection in the world's most populous nation. After the successful opening of Hong Kong Disneyland last year, Disney announced this week that it would be partnering with Shanda
Shanda can certainly use the pixie dust. Unlike fast-growing rival NetEase
The company's moves into gaming hardware and giving away older games have been puzzling and mostly unproductive. If anything, this new deal with Disney stands out like a sore thumb because it makes so much sense.
If China embraces Mickey Mouse as more affluent Japan has -- and early indications suggest it certainly might -- Shanda could have a hit on its hands when the new game is released early next year. China's leading games skew toward fantasy titles for older players. If Disney and Shanda help lure a younger audience into online gaming in the midst of China's booming economy, those pint-sized players could eventually help Shanda matter again as they grow up. There's little downside to this deal.
Shanda and NetEase have been active recommendations in the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service for more than a year. NetEase has crushed the market, while Shanda has simply been crushed. One game can change that.
Shanda's Goofy idea? It's not so goofy.
A spoonful of further Foolishness:
- Disney delivers in its latest quarterly results.
- Executive shuffles accompany Shanda's recent woes.
- Where to look for the greatest growth.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a fan of China's high-margin gaming stocks for a long time; he recommended NetEase last year to Rule Breakers subscribers. He owns shares in Disney, aMotley Fool Stock Advisorpick. The Fool has adisclosure policy. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.