China Blocks WoW: Lich King Release

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China Blocks WoW: Lich King Release

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MMO giant World of Warcraft has hit a stumbling block in China over the release of its second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King - with the Chinese government preventing its release due to some objectionable content.

As China-based JLM Pacific Epoch reports, the government has twice rejected applications by The9, the Chinese company responsible for licensing and distributing the game. Both applications, submitted after the Chinese Spring Festival ending on February 1, were denied on the basis of content that did not meet requirements - whatever that means.

According to an insider, two specific shortcomings included the presence of skeleton characters and a "city raid." Nor did the submitted version contain the starting area for the game's new Death Knight class, the insider continued. For whatever reason, it seems that China simply doesn't like skeletons in their games - it wouldn't be the first time WoW has been edited in mainland China due to skeleton-related concerns.

The city raid in question is almost certainly the epic mid-expansion event, "Battle for the Undercity," as the ability to just raid the opposing faction's capitals has been in the game since release. One wonders why, exactly, said event would be objectionable - perhaps it's simply an offshoot of the Chinese government's severe phobia of skeletons, what with all the Undead running around the place?

Despite smashing sales records in the West, Blizzard ought to be chomping at the bit to get to the lucrative Chinese market, which makes up a large portion of their playerbase. One can't help but feel slightly sorry for Chinese WoW players - the Death Knight starting area and the Battle for the Undercity are two of the coolest events in the game. Even if the game can pass muster with minimal censoring, they won't be getting the real deal.

(JLM Pacific Epoch, via Massively and GamePolitics)

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Secondary Title: "China Does Something Right For Once."

What is with skeleton censoring? Seeing as these games sell a lot there you'd think their government wouldn't mess with the game.

CantFaketheFunk:
For whatever reason, it seems that China simply doesn't like skeletons in their games

Perhaps it's because they already have so many in their collective closets.

What's next? Censoring the abomination guards with giant kittens?

I never would have thought that skeletons in a game would have been a problem

...

And we thought Australia was bad...

Hankage:
Secondary Title: "China Does Something Right For Once."

I sense a bitter pvper in this one.

That really is quite blatantly ridiculous. But at least we now know what to do should there be any trouble with the Chinese. Send in the skeletons!

It's not exactly for no reason. You just have to examine the politics behind it.

The Chinese gov. is avowedly atheist, as is a common feature in communist governments, as communists tend to believe that religion often serves to keep the masses pacified, and thus unaware that they are being short-shifted on the whole wealth thing. So when it comes to censorship, they block anything that relates to pre-communist Chinese beliefs, which focused around the ancestors. No one can deny that skeletons are remains of people who once lived, so they could easily be considered a symbol ancestors. In a Chinese context, one could potentially read a game prominently featuring animated skeletons having influence in the real world as propagating this belief (or as the Chinese gov. likes to call it "superstition") in the ancestors. Thus the denial, as such a game would have a pro-religion (and thus anti-government) stance, however accidental.

Gut wrenching, organ spewing abominations, most of Zul'drak (especially the floating Necropolises like the one with Drakuru), and the Wrath Gate cinematic where two armies get nuked by a scourge are ok, but skeletons, a city raid quest (how do they prevent regular city raids?) and an expansion on EPL (I mean come on, the Ebon Hold is nothing new if you've done Naxx or have ever been to Undercity).

But they have no problem with Culling of Strathholme where you "crusade" through the city slaughtering innocent civilians who end up becoming scourge anyway?

There are too many flaws in this argument. China is hiding a much bigger reason for not allowing WotLK.

How about we just take all those poor innocent chinese people and teleport them to a country of their own and leave all those oddballs with their censorships and strange things to their own back in China.

I dunno where we could drop them, maybe build a giant island out of turtles south of Japan or something? xD
Then those innocent people could build their own country with normal laws and lead normal lives. Everyone wins!

Maybe this will finally cause the Chiniese rebellion... one can only hope...

I think, in this case, the Chinese Government might of done the right thing, saving their people from spending 24 hours a day grinding ^_^

Somethingfake:
I think, in this case, the Chinese Government might of done the right thing, saving their people from spending 24 hours a day grinding ^_^

Dude, have you ever PLAYED a Chinese MMO? WoW has absolutely no grinding whatsoever when compared to your usual Asian MMO.

I still suspect that most people who use the term don't know what grinding actually means.

HobbesMkii:
It's not exactly for no reason. You just have to examine the politics behind it.

The Chinese gov. is avowedly atheist, as is a common feature in communist governments, as communists tend to believe that religion often serves to keep the masses pacified, and thus unaware that they are being short-shifted on the whole wealth thing. So when it comes to censorship, they block anything that relates to pre-communist Chinese beliefs, which focused around the ancestors. No one can deny that skeletons are remains of people who once lived, so they could easily be considered a symbol ancestors. In a Chinese context, one could potentially read a game prominently featuring animated skeletons having influence in the real world as propagating this belief (or as the Chinese gov. likes to call it "superstition") in the ancestors. Thus the denial, as such a game would have a pro-religion (and thus anti-government) stance, however accidental.

The thing is, it is still a videogame. I don't know why they relate that to the real world.

confernal:
Maybe this will finally cause the Chiniese rebellion... one can only hope...

haha, hardly.

QUICK! TO CHINA!

My theory on why they don't want city raids: It might inspire the good Chineese citizens to rise up and overthrow the government, they could do it you know.

mattttherman3:
My theory on why they don't want city raids: It might inspire the good Chineese citizens to rise up and overthrow the government, they could do it you know.

Only if they got Thrall / Sylvanas / Jaina / Varian to help out.

China doesn't want skeletons in their games? Now.... mean.... They.......

Fucking mixed priorities man.

Hooray! More anti-Chinese sentiments! Nevertheless, I had trouble keeping a straight face after reading it.

CantFaketheFunk:

mattttherman3:
My theory on why they don't want city raids: It might inspire the good Chineese citizens to rise up and overthrow the government, they could do it you know.

Only if they got Thrall / Sylvanas / Jaina / Varian to help out.

I think this theory isn't that weird. After all, China also has banned those ghost-horrorfilms (like the Ring), most probably because the characters have to rise up against an enemy who is clearly much stronger than themselves (and sometimes even succeed). :P We can only speculate.

Cajt:
What's next? Censoring the abomination guards with giant kittens?

I would play the fuck out of WoW again if they did that.
Hell yes.

CantFaketheFunk:

I still suspect that most people who use the term don't know what grinding actually means.

Grinding...

Oh! Oh! I know this one! Something along the lines of this!

CantFaketheFunk:

mattttherman3:
My theory on why they don't want city raids: It might inspire the good Chineese citizens to rise up and overthrow the government, they could do it you know.

Only if they got Thrall / Sylvanas / Jaina / Varian to help out.

Muhahaha! your coming to the awesome side of the WoW (no idea either) look at the first two you listed and then think about their faction, or even Jaina who is allied with the Horde.

On-topic: What the hell China!?, atleast it'll keep some goldfarmers away (/racist stereotype) I do wonder what their big deal with Skeletons is however.

Although, even if slightly WOTLK bears more resemblance to the rts games, the language is a fair bit stronger, the setting creepier and the emphasis is shfting back to the story.

wows western population 5 million wows Chinese population 6 million, all the Chinese quit because they can't play wrath of the lich king, blizzard yells FUCK!

China using censorship?

What a twist!

Skellies and raids go against pure communism! We must stop irrelevant fiction from tainting the glorious image of Chairman Mao!

I'm sorta shocked nobody really knew about this;

China recently put a ban on ALL things dealing with death/occult/undead etc after the popularity of the Book/manga/anime/live action movie series "Death Note" bloomed to the point that several Kira cults formed, and there was a rash of killings, and suicides directly linked to the series...so in light of this the government decided to ban all things that walk the line of that genre. They wanted to " cut the head off EVERY snake" just to make sure they get the one or two venomous ones....Is it over kill?...most likely, but then again they have banned other things for far stupider reasons in the past.

HobbesMkii:
It's not exactly for no reason. You just have to examine the politics behind it.

The Chinese gov. is avowedly atheist, as is a common feature in communist governments, as communists tend to believe that religion often serves to keep the masses pacified, and thus unaware that they are being short-shifted on the whole wealth thing. So when it comes to censorship, they block anything that relates to pre-communist Chinese beliefs, which focused around the ancestors. No one can deny that skeletons are remains of people who once lived, so they could easily be considered a symbol ancestors. In a Chinese context, one could potentially read a game prominently featuring animated skeletons having influence in the real world as propagating this belief (or as the Chinese gov. likes to call it "superstition") in the ancestors. Thus the denial, as such a game would have a pro-religion (and thus anti-government) stance, however accidental.

Don't you think you're reading a little too much into this?

Skeletons have been a tabu in china for quite some time, i know this because magic the gathering cards featuring skeletons had to have alternate art in china, for instance giving skeletons flesh, so they looked more like zombies.

I don't know why, but several people have already given explanations of this above. I think i heard somewhere that it has to do with some old superstitious thing as well

On a side note. isn't china's economy based on gold farmers? i thought WoW gold was their main export :p

That crazy chinese government! What will they think of next?

MA7743W:

Don't you think you're reading a little too much into this?

Uh... no... the Chinese government censors stuff all the time for propagating superstitions. They actually say that's why they're doing it too. Mr. Funk's article expressed some confusion as to why the PRC was blocking skeletons in particular, and about a half-dozen or so people in the thread expressed a similar amazement, and I felt the need to clarify. It's not a difficult conclusion, if you know anything about China and its religions, and anything about Chinese Communism. Or if you just read what the Chinese government actually says about why their doing this stuff.

Don't you think you're being a little too dismissive?

HobbesMkii:

Uh... no... the Chinese government censors stuff all the time for propagating superstitions. They actually say that's why they're doing it too. Mr. Funk's article expressed some confusion as to why the PRC was blocking skeletons in particular, and about a half-dozen or so people in the thread expressed a similar amazement, and I felt the need to clarify. It's not a difficult conclusion, if you know anything about China and its religions, and anything about Chinese Communism. Or if you just read what the Chinese government actually says about why their doing this stuff.

Don't you think you're being a little too dismissive?

You may be right actually.
I was reading up on Wikipedia just now.
Apologies.

MA7743W:

You may be right actually.
I was reading up on Wikipedia just now.
Apologies.

It's cool. It's probably important that I get called out every once and a while so that I stay real.

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