It Sand Time: China Censoring World of Warcraft

Following six weeks of downtime as World of Warcraft transitions to a new Chinese operator, the game has finally returned to service with an open beta. But players are now noticing many alterations made to the MMO, changes mandated by Chinese regulators during the downtime.

The edits include replacing piles of bones with sandbags, and changing the color of blood from red to black--reportedly leading one Chinese player to joke that his Orc character now has oil running through his veins. Blizzard is currently moving the game from previous WoW China operator The9 to NetEase. In the process, the General Administration of Press and Publication division of the Chinese government provided Blizzard with "content adjustment suggestions," the results of which can be seen above.

Mature content in videogames is apparently a sensitive topic in China due to the lack of a traditional ratings system. Gamasutra has a rundown on the story, collating reports from MMOSite and China Tech News.

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