NewsSpots: Company of Heroes, Xbox 360 demos, WOW

THQ preps WWII RTS spin-off, Darkness and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam samples on Xbox 360, Blizzard boos gold farmers.

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Heroes finds Company in China
In 2005, analysts predicted that while China's online market is on the precipice of massive growth, those benefiting would primarily be Chinese studios--save for Vivendi and its World of Warcraft franchise, of course. THQ is looking to disprove that forecast, as the publisher announced this week that it will be partnering with Shanghai-based Shanda Interactive Entertainment to bring Company of Heroes Online (working title) to mainland China in 2008. The Chinese version of COH will include the online component of Relic's WWII real-time strategy game, and players will be able to participate in both cooperative and competitive combat missions. The game will also feature a stat-tracking system, and players will be able to rank up from private to general.

Darkness, Dynasty Warriors samplers hit XBL
Xbox Live will be updated with a pair of demos this week. A trial run for 2K Games' well-reviewed The Darkness went up on Microsoft's online platform earlier today. The single-player demo features three early levels from the supernatural comic book-inspired action game. Also appearing this week on Xbox Live is a demo for Namco Bandai and Koei's crossover action title Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. In this single-player sampler, players assume the role of Heero Yuy as he attempts to thwart a "mysterious planet" from careening into Earth. The demo was scheduled to be available earlier today, but it has not yet appeared on Xbox Live as of press time.

World of Warcraft maker comments on class-action suit
In June, longtime World of Warcraft player Antonio Hernandez initiated a class-action lawsuit against IGE, a purveyor of virtual goods to massively multiplayer online game players. Today, Blizzard issued an official comment on the lawsuit: "Blizzard Entertainment strongly supports the goals of this lawsuit. We agree that real-money transfer is harmful to the game as a whole and to the experience of all legitimate players. We have explicitly forbidden it in the terms of use for World of Warcraft, and have devoted extensive time and development resources to detecting and preventing these illegal transactions. We believe that shutting down gold farming and real-money transfer is in the interest of all World of Warcraft players and that a victory in this case would have a positive long-term effect on the online gaming industry as a whole."

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