Chinese game company Aurora Technology has placed a ban on men playing as women in its King of the World MMOG.
A subsidiary of Chinese MMOG powerhouse Shanda Interactive Entertainment, Aurora froze the accounts of all male players who chose to play as females in the game. The company stated that only female players may play as females, although it did not comment on female players who wish to play as men. To enforce this policy, Aurora now requires any gamer who selects a female character to provide proof of gender via a webcam.
Shanda, which generated revenues of $157 million in 2004, publishes numerous MMOGs for the Chinese market, including Ragnarok Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Three Kingdoms and more. Shanda acquired Aurora Technology in July 2007. China has one of the largest online gaming markets in the world, but Chinese MMOG operators, spurred by tight government regulations, are notorious for imposing restrictive and occasionally bizarre policies on many of their high-profile games.