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HONG KONG — Leading Asian game developer and operator Perfect World will Friday launch its online game “Chi Bi,” based on Chinese history.

“Chi Bi” is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that has been in closed beta testing for over a month and now goes live in beta.

It draws on the history, empire building, warcraft and bloody turmoil of the “Three Kingdoms” period 280-220 B.C.). Source material has been adapted many times over for operas, books, TV series and films. But timing is propitious with launch of two major movie adaptations of novel “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms” skedded for release in 2008.

Developers at Nasdaq-traded Perfect World say they are working closely with China Film Group Corp. to incorporate elements from their Three Kingdoms pic “Red Cliff,” which is set for release in the summer.

Perfect World, which has developed 3-D games including “Perfect World” I and II, ‘”Legend of Martial Arts” and “Zhu Xian,” this year expects to launch seven or eight games.

Company’s most recent financial data shows it making profits of yuan 123 million ($16.8 million) in the third quarter of 2007 on revenues of $29.3 million.