Chinese online game developer and operator The9 has reached a strategic partnership with Sony Online Entertainment and will become the exclusive operator for SOE’s 3D leisure community online game “Free Realms” on the Chinese mainland.

Free Realms is a cartoon-themed online game that is designed for users of all ages. Users can choose different professions to experience the various gaming activities, including cooking, building their own villas, playing football games, and collecting different kinds of pets to set up a zoo.

John Smedley, chief executive officer of SOE, said that Free Realms has gained great success in markets outside China and the company is optimistic about its development on the Chinese mainland. SOE will design localized gaming methods for Chinese users to support the operation of Free Realms in China.

Statistics show that Free Realms was launched in April 2009 and has gained 12 million users worldwide. Due to the good performance of this online game on the PC platform, SOE has decided to transplant it to Sony’s PS3 game platform.