|Developer(s)||HiPiHi Co. Ltd|
|Release date(s)||To be released|
|Mode(s)||Multiplayer (online only)|
HiPiHi is an online 3D virtual world game founded by Xu Hui and Rao Xuewei in Beijing in the People's Republic of China. It is the first Chinese virtual world game that allows virtual netizens to freely roam around. Users can explore, trade, communicate and create things in their virtual environment.
Founders Xu Hui and Rao Xuewei began exploring the idea on October 2005. HiPiHi was founded in Beijing on April 17, 2006. Investments were made by Institutional Angel GCIG on August 8, 2006. Alpha testing began in December 2006. Beta testing began on March 19, 2007 with approximately 10,000 users.
Due to the position of the Chinese government and Beijing's authoritarian policies against Taiwanese independence, Tibetan independence, anti-government criticism and Falun Gong religious groups, this game is expected by some to have major social hurdles. It is uncertain as to how the game will be managed or censored, though founder Xu Hui does have a good reputation, including being labeled "Top Ten China Internet Heroes" in 1999 prior to the HiPiHi project.
There have been reports of Trojan malware in some versions of Hipihi. These have proven to be false positives, according to Hipihi staff. Changes to the Hipihi software and changes in malware software appear to have solved this minor problem as of Hipihi version 50011.
Second Life comparison
The Hipihi virtual world is often compared to the Second Life by the media. Hipihi creator Hui stated in a 2007 interview that "when we started discussing the HiPiHi back to 2005, actually we had no idea about the Second Life. Second Life came to international attention in late 2006, then we study it and find out we both are working for a similar direction". He continued "It is absolutely a misunderstanding of the virtual world if people think HiPiHi is a copycat of Second Life. The virtual world is not just a 3D environment, but a complicate social system including the property policy, financial policy etc."
There are a number of upcoming competitors including Novoking, Shanghai's Shanda, Uonenet's uWorld, and to some extent perhaps Hong Kong's Frenzoo, although Frenzoo is not precisely the same sort of expansive 3D virtual world that Hipihi is and Shanda and uWorld are expected to be.
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