A Chinese government-sponsored MMOG has been overwhelmed by demand, forcing it offline for upgrades.
Incorruptible Warrior, launched by the Ningbo Haishu District Discipline Commission in Zhejiang province, was intended to show people how to fight government corruption, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency. “The game requires players to learn government anti-corruption measures and to kill corrupt officials while avoiding attacks by their henchmen and mistresses clad in bikinis,” the report said.
Released on July 25, the game had attracted over 10,000 players by August 1. While the numbers are hardly overwhelming by normal standards, lead designer Hua Tong said the game server was designed to handle only 600 players simultaneously. Officials have given no time-frame for the return of Incorruptible Warrior.
Corruption is not uncommon throughout various levels of the Chinese government, and the killing of officials depicted in the game isn’t too far removed from reality. Despite harsh penalties for violators, including common use of the death penalty for crimes such as bribe-taking and gross negligence, the problem remains widespread, and critics claim the government’s policy of high-profile trials and executions of individuals fails to adequately address what is in fact systemic governmental dishonesty.