Stepping onto the campus of NetDragon Websoft, is an adventure of its own. Here spaceships sit beside steam-powered locomotives, life-size figures of Iron Man, Terminator and Storm troopers, a heated indoor pool, firemen poles and other such wonders await visitors. Chairman Liu Dejian and his team of designers have created not only China’s most successful online gaming and technology firm but also a stupendous office at a hefty cost of about 160 million pounds to pay homage to the American science fiction entertainment franchise- Star Wars Blessed with fortune and imagination, the campus he’s created embodies the wonderful gaming world that helped Hong Kong-listed NetDragon make its mark
Dejian strongly believes in the ever-growing need for a mobile educational platform that creates true educational value and makes people want to every hungry for knowledge. This belief leads him and his team to raise $52.5 million in Series to fund for its online education business from investors including IDG Capital, Vertex Venture, and Alpha Animation. The round values NetDragon’s online education subsidiary is about $477.5 million. Promethean, one of the recognized global leaders in the international education market, which claims that its technology is used by two million teachers and about thirty million students in more than 100 countries, is now an asset acquired by Liu priced at 130 million dollars. NetDragon aims at creating interactive software for classrooms, educational products that use interactive gaming model to make learning fun are indeed game changers in the field of education. In addition to it, Net dragon seeks to develop vocational, non-academic credentials, media tablets, cloud platforms and so much more. NetDragon doesn’t just stop there. It wants to build an online mobile education platform that will change the way education is delivered in the virtual world. The acquisition of a Hong Kong company like ‘Cherrypicks’ known for its internationalized top-tier mobile app design firm with expertise in user-interface/user-experience can definitely lead to the transformation of the educational eco system.
How it all began
As young gamers, Liu and his friends grew annoyed having to wait in long online queues, caused by low server capacity and at the age of 29, decided to cash in on this very aspect of gaming. Liu believed that man’s need to experience a better life through playing games is what made him successful and hence the designing of the game was aimed at making the player feel good about himself every couple of minutes. Hence, his global empire was built on a very basic principle: provide and escape to mankind and he will welcome it with open arms. However, NetDragon has come up with ways of combating gaming addiction – by creating tablets for students that unlock only after a specified number of lessons have been completed, promotion of moral values etc., has only lead to its booming success. It will be an understatement to say that Liu has showed the world that video games are the future of education!