http://www.gamesetwatch.com/fwest.jpg Former Marketwatch founder and current Chinese MMO don Bill Bishop continues to blog pointedly about the Chinese game market, and his latest post relays the interesting information that "Kingsoft has hired away Xu Bo, lead designer of Fantasy Westward Journey, and several core members of his development team."

Of course, this is partly interesting because most of us have no idea which MMOs are big in China (yes, apart from WoW!), but apparently, Netease's Fantasy Westward Journey and its sequel are two of the largest, numbering in the high hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users (!), and powering a lot of Chinese firm Netease's growth.

Bishop adds: "I'm not sure how much this matters for Netease long-term. I doubt this new Kingsoft game will be ready before 2008, and Fantasy Westward Journey shows no signs of slowing down (think Lineage and NCSoft and you realize Netease could live for years on just this one game). Netease does appear to be having issues with its long-awaited 3D game Tianxia." Again, somewhat over our heads, but fascinating just for the on-the-ground insight.