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Blizzard Awaits China's Approval For WoW Relaunch 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the wrath-of-the-happy-smile-king dept.
angry tapir writes "The relaunch of World of Warcraft in China, where it has already been offline for six weeks, still faces an indefinite delay as it awaits government approval for its content. Problems for Blizzard Entertainment, the game's creator, started when it switched to a new local operator for World of Warcraft in China, online gaming company NetEase. New operators of foreign games have to submit the games for government approval, and China has objected to some of the content it found in its latest review of the game."
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Blizzard Awaits China's Approval For WoW Relaunch

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  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @12:38PM (#28771357)
    If I were the CIA, I'd pressure Blizzard to hold off on changes for another 2-3 months. I guarantee you there will be protesters marching in the streets and demanding regime change!
  • Irony (Score:2, Troll)

    by Darkness404 (1287218)
    Is it ironic that this news comes from an Australian site which the Australian government has expressed support for filtering of downloaded games ( http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/06/25/1821235 [slashdot.org] )?
    • What you're basically suggesting is that reporting news about another country having remotely similar policy to your own might constitute irony. Using this logic, this post is ironic, because I am now talking about you clicking the post button. I must have too!
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @12:42PM (#28771423)

    China. Pssht. They probably couldn't get more than 1% of the population to play and at $15/month...that's only...um...$150,000,000. A month.

    Allrighty let's get China on board here! Start bringing in those tax dollars! (Blizzard does pay income tax for something like this?)

    • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @12:47PM (#28771501) Journal

      Its different rates in china, as most people are quite cheap compared to us/europe.

      Players will need to purchase a CD key to create an account and enter the game. The key comes at a price of 30 Yuan (about 3 euros or 2 pounds) and can be bought with a so-called Points Card which costs the same. While game time can be purchased on a monthly basis here, you can play WoW on an hourly basis in China - at an incredible rate of 0.45 Yuan/hour, amounting to 0.05 euros or 0.03 pounds respectively.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Prices are cheaper over there. Last I knew (according to this Blizzard press release: http://eu.blizzard.com/en/press/050606.html) playing in China costs 0.45 Yuan per hour, which converts to 6.5 cents per hour.
      So someone over there would have to play just over 230 hours a month to be paying $15/month.

  • The parallels are astounding: Indefinite delays, arbitrary conflicting decisions, and reapproval of already-approved content required when making minor changes!

  • by nweaver (113078) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @12:45PM (#28771473) Homepage

    The Chinese Communist party got tired of people taking their candles.

    • by pha7boy (1242512)
      hehe... it seem the Chicoms have mod points :) So they take Mao Candle from you.
    • by ring-eldest (866342) <[ring_eldest] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @01:45PM (#28772345)
      Is not YOUR candle.

      Is OUR candle.
      • by Abreu (173023)

        It can be YOUR candle, not a problem... unless the candle in question becomes a means of production of capital.

        Then it becomes THEIR candle

      • It's EVERYONE's candle, thus NOBODY may use it unless we can use it to produce anything we can export, so we get foreign money, which we can use to buy foreign companies and patents, and they again belong to EVERYONE, but NOBODY may have it for himself, thus it has to be administered by the government which was chosen by EVERYONE, so essentially NOBODY...

        *facepalm* You'll never become good Communists. Mao, why have you forsaken us?

    • by splutty (43475)

      Take the bloody candle and leave me the hell alone, or I'll sue your ass for genocide!

      (I always thought it was a bit odd 'Candle or Death'.. 'Uhm.. Death please'..)

  • How many suicides noticed so far because of WoW shutdown? It must be one hell of fun realizing that you actually have *free time* when server is down. (not that your ssh access server downtime would be different)
  • I'm guessing with the largest population and such there must have been more than one case of severe WoW addiction. If the entire WoW community there is actually surviving 6 weeks of seperation this may be an interesting rejection of the concept of gaming addiction.
    • An addict can and will switch to replacements when their drug of choice is unavailable. There's more MMOs than simply WoW. I'm betting it will take a while for the subscriber base to recover after this, since they'll all be hooked on something else.

      • by KillerBob (217953)

        *shrugs* there's still gold farmers in wow, as well as organizations trying to sell powerlevelling and such. My guess is that the Chinese government hasn't blocked the game as well as they think they have.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sopssa (1498795) *

          They haven't even tried to block anything. The company running the chinese version of wow and their servers just hasn't got permission to get the servers up. Chinese gold farmers are obviously playing on eu/usa servers and selling gold/powerleveling to them, as you cannot transfer gold and characters across usa/eu/china servers.

        • by lorenlal (164133)

          *shrugs* there's still gold farmers in wow, as well as organizations trying to sell powerlevelling and such. My guess is that the Chinese government hasn't blocked the game as well as they think they have.

          Or that there are other countries with people who engage in these activities...

      • Hmm... I had the hunch that there've been more Chinafarmers in EvE lately. The price dip of Trit sure matches very curiously the moment WoW was cut in China...

  • Worse than Nintendo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @12:54PM (#28771597)
    Seriously, China's "nanny state" protection is worse than Nintendo's censorship in the NES/SNES days.

    The game has been modified to meet the Chinese government's demands before. Skeletons added to the game in an update overseas appeared with flesh in China.

    So you can't see people's bones in China but a dead corpse is just fine? I mean, heck, back in the NES days you could play Castlevania and kill skeletons all day long and that was just fine with Nintendo's censorship.

    Government objections have also prevented the China release of Wrath of the Lich King, the game's latest expansion. The expansion twice failed to gain government approval despite content revisions, possibly due to elements like the "death knight" character class, according to local media.

    So lets see, the Chinese government won't let you have a class called a "death knight" while the government constantly celebrates the "great leap forward" which ended up killing a ton of its own citizens, celebrates the Chinese Civil War as some great achievement which ended up with millions dying. I really don't understand China's censorship, especially since this will give them lots of tax revenue.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MoldySpore (1280634)
      Hey, at least Nintendo never administered shock therapy for an addiction to Zelda ;)
    • by PotatoFarmer (1250696) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @01:38PM (#28772241)
      Different cultures have different taboos. Remember Janet Jackson during the Superbowl? I'd be willing to bet that gigantic shitstorm in the US would have been perfectly acceptable for a lot of other cultures.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Most European countries, I believe, have commercials with breasts bouncing all over the place with nothing covering them. They don't see anything wrong with it. So your point is absolutely correct.
        • by Creepy (93888)

          If I remember correctly, in Japan breasts and testicles are perfectly fine to show, but other genitalia are strictly forbidden. There was a kids show where opossums blew up their testicles and fought with them, or something like that, and I've seen non-hentai anime with breasts (but no sex) that I believe was aimed at teens.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by geminidomino (614729) *

            There was a kids show where opossums blew up their testicles and fought with them, or something like that

            Sounds like it may have been Tanuki [wikipedia.org]

            • by Chyeld (713439)

              More specifically it was likely Pom Poko [wikipedia.org], a very non-hentai movie from Studio Ghibli, sometimes described as the Japanese Disney.

          • by St.Creed (853824)

            There was even a Pokemon episode featuring the guy from Team Rocket suddenly getting large boobs. Cue lots of ah... coloured jokes. For some reason they deemed it okay for Japan, but not so much for other countries... :P

      • by chmodU (1596153)

        Heh. Skeletons and Death Knights are not taboo. And even if they were, a game company wouldn't be successful releasing taboo content.

        No no, this is typical China. 6000 years of bribery and corruption

      • by Aceticon (140883)

        In the summer, when you got to the beach in most of Europe you'll see naked breasts all day long.

        Believe me, once it's commonplace it's not special anymore.

      • I distinctly remember this being the letdown of the century. WOW! JJ's boobs on TV!

        You didn't even really get to see a nipple, or see them bounce, or anything. Hell, the average 10pm TV shows more boobies than that. Fire up YouTube for that? Hell, "Ding" from Seeed has more boobs in its video and it's been running on music TV in Germany all day. Ok, they're animated and they're a bit furry, but still boobs!

    • by tisepti (1488837)

      So you can't see people's bones in China but a dead corpse is just fine?

      Nope - corpses are replaced with tombstones

    • by St.Creed (853824)

      So lets see, the Chinese government won't let you have a class called a "death knight" while the government constantly celebrates the "great leap forward" which ended up killing a ton of its own citizens, celebrates the Chinese Civil War as some great achievement which ended up with millions dying. I really don't understand China's censorship, especially since this will give them lots of tax revenue.

      I don't think you really mean that the Chinese government is celebrating the casualties. It is more the reverse - people who try to publicly remember the casualties from the Great Leap Forward can still get into some serious difficulties, if it is taken as an implicit criticism of the ruling party.

      And Chinese censorship is pretty simple: anything someone *in power* might find objectionable will be censored. Lots of Chinese get creeped out by ghosts. Besides that, believing in ghosts is pretty much a non-mat

  • Ahh I was wondering why there are less Chinese gold spam messages in trade chat.

    100 trade messages a day. It's amazing they are able to earn a paycheck by playing a game albeit not a lot but I am sure it's better than not working.

  • Disregarding the fact that Game Theory [wikipedia.org] says we never will, the only effective answer we really have to China is to just drag all our stuff away from them. This could be really interesting if China responded in kind. We'd effectively split the world in half.

    Maybe I'm just disgruntled because I spent all day reading proposed healthcare legislation and have decided that if one person puts something stupid forward, he's an idiot, but if a group do the same, it's "compromise."

  • by Raindance (680694) * <johnsonmx@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @01:14PM (#28771897) Homepage Journal

    It's pretty clear that the real reason for this delay isn't some minor quibble regarding content. It's that China doesn't want a Western/foreign company to dominate their online gaming market.

    Clever, unethical (from certain standpoints), and frustrating for Blizzard, no doubt.

    • I agree with this, even if Vivendi (like The Analog Kid says) is owned by a French company, I think they are just trying to hurt western interests. Or maybe there is a Chinese company developing their own MMO and they want that one to be successful? Another theory is that they are tired of their young population playing hours and hours of video games, in hopes they will work and be productive and make China's economy stronger. I mean, China is a communist state, so they will always do what's in the state
    • Thanks for that substancial yet uncited or defended claim.
  • by euyis (1521257)
    Ministry of Culture has just approved the game. The game will be relaunched on Jul 30 in China.

    -source: a Chinese IT news website [cnbeta.com]
    • Tried translating that, and sort of got the gist of it using an online translator here, though a little hard to understand at http://babelfish.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com]

      I won't translate the whole thing, but I noticed this tidbit :

      "The people's net - game channel country news General publications administration concerned people in charge on 21st in the evening pay attention to "Evil spirit Beastly World" on the society examine and approve the related question to accept reporter to interview."

      World of Warcraft so
      • by chmodU (1596153)

        No it doesn't.

        Mo Shou Shijie translates to Magical Beast World ("World of Magical Beasts" - a better translation). Mo can relates to devils in certain contexts, but it more often just means magic. Not the sinister kind.

        • Or, translated even more loosely, "fantasy themed" ("magical beasts" being more descriptive of that setting than, say, a sci-fi setting, an Old West setting, a Victorian London setting, or any other popular settings in which MMORPGs have been placed).
  • Remember that article a while ago about China banning Gold Farming?

    You think whoever passed the bill is finding alternative ways to enforce the law?

  • All the gold farmers are out of business!
  • China insists that a system be put into place to jail WoW characters who advocate democracy for Azeroth.
  • Already moved on (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The majority of the high level player population in China has already moved on to Taiwanese servers. I don't know if they'll move back once the China servers are back up, especially after the huge delays in getting both TBC and WotLK released there. I also don't know if these high level, "hardcore" players constitute any significant majority of the WoW China playerbase (they probably don't).

  • I mean, what other Chinese laws is Blizzard afraid of breaking except for panda violence?

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