A number of Chinese companies are nothing if not shrewd โ€” in a smart business move, FerryGame has hired former EA executive producer and Heavy Iron founder Steve Gray to oversee their product lineup and future forays into the MMO/'advanced casual' market. Ranging from typical MMOs to a music/dance/'catwalk' game, FerryGame looks like they're ready to take on some of the big dogs of the domestic Chinese market, and Gray will surely be an asset:

Prior to EA, Gray founded Heavy Iron, which was sold to THQ in 1999 and now serves as the primary studio creating the publisher's Pixar tie-in titles. Before that, Gray directed Parasite Eve for Square, and ran EA's software tools group and motion capture lab for the publisher during its original PlayStation era. FerryGames says Gray will oversee not only its Secret Online franchise and upcoming expansion packs War of Heroes and Qin Warriors, but also its forthcoming casual products due summer 2009: the music, dance, catwalk and social network title codenamed Project Super, and massively online third person shooter codenamed X-Fire.

I'm personally very excited to see where the Chinese market is headed and how the gaming landscape is going to be changing over the next decade, both within China and on a more global scale. Little announcements like these aren't terribly exciting on a small level, but when rolled into the total sum of how the industry is doing, do portend some interesting things ... FerryGames Gets EA's Steve Gray, Announces Line-Up [Gamasutra]