In the epic battle between World of Warcraft and China, WoW is still unable to stand up against China's mighty banhammer.
The newest installment in this ongoing battle came about as NetEase, the company distributing WoW in China, applied for the Burning Crusade expansion. Normally that'd be good news, right? Everyone loves an expansion pack!
Unfortunately, that is not the case. The re-application comes with the suspension of all new registration while the license is being reviewed. That's right, no new players until the government can make up its mind. And, as was previously reported, this can take awhile.
The registration suspension is expected to last through the Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 14 this year. Best case scenario, the suspension ends, and Chinese gamers can go back to trying to kill Arthas like everyone else.
The concern, however, is this may not be the case. The Chinese government is already expressing concerns over the content of the import game and the involvement of Western developers in its management and distribution. Last November, when the application for Burning Crusade was first submitted, NetEase was ordered to halt registration due to gross violations of Chinese law in charging consumers subscription fees. NetEase also came under fire in July with a ban threat for working with a Blizzard, a western company, which is also prohibited by Chinese law.
Best case scenario, service resumes after New Year as planned. But China's concerns over content could still trip it up, and if the company isn't up to the government's standards, the already volatile situation could explode at any moment.
At least Taiwan's servers are still open, right?