'Call of Duty' video game headed for China

A free version of the blockbuster video game "Call of Duty" will be offered to players in China, the developers said Tuesday.

Activision Blizzard, a unit of France's Vivendi, said it would offer the Call of Duty Online game through Tencent Holdings Limited, an Internet services provider in China.

The game, which allows players to take the role of a military shooter, will be free to play and monetized through the sales of in-game items, a statement from the two firms said.

"We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China," said Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Activision Blizzard.

Martin Lau, president of Tencent, said Call of Duty Online "will attract tens of millions of loyal fans in China."

In the gaming model designed specifically for the Chinese market, players can personalize their weapons, characters and equipment.

The "Call of Duty" franchise has several versions. The latest, "Modern Warfare 3" raked in a record $775 million worldwide in its first five days after being introduced last year.

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