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World of Warcraft Ordered to Shut Down in China

A Chinese regulatory authority has ordered World of Warcraft's Chinese licensing partner NetEase to cease operating Blizzard's MMORPG in the country, Reuters reports, though it is yet unclear what will happen or whether it has the authority to do so.

The General Administration of Press and Publication's order that NetEase suspend account signups and cease charging is due to the firm collecting fees and allowing registrations during an open beta which began in July, according to Times Live.

The beta ran when NetEase took over from previous licensee The9 and was awaiting approval for the relaunch from the Ministry of Culture--a separate entity which recently took over aspects of online game regulation from GAPP. Blizzard ultimately had to institute several changes--including replacing dead players' skeletons with sandbags and red blood with black--before World of Warcraft relaunched in China in September.

"The chaos is mainly due to the vague demarcation of responsibilities between GAPP and the Ministry of Culture," said Chinese analyst Liu Ning. "It is not yet certain what will happen--to be honest, it depends on who will finally win: GAPP or the culture ministry."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 3, 2009 10:01 AM

    Oh how glorious it would be if it was shut down forever

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      November 3, 2009 10:05 AM

      I thought all the China servers were kept separate from the other servers?

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      November 3, 2009 10:07 AM

      It affects you negatively, Entity, or are you just unable to withstand the idea that people are enjoying a game that you don't care for?

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        November 3, 2009 10:28 AM

        I don't share the desire for the game to be shut down entirely but it can be argued that WoW hurts gaming in general and PC gaming in particular because many people just keep playing WoW instead of buying more games. I know a few people who are proud of all the money they've saved in not having to buy additional games or upgrade hardware, they just keep playing WoW.

        Granted it's not WoW's fault this is the case really - sure there will always be some people who just play one game to the expense of everything else, but people can be lured away from good games by even better games. But the timing is bad - at a time when PC games are selling less than their console counterparts, all sales numbers are being blamed on piracy when in some cases (WoW obsession, outrage over no dedicated servers) the PC version is not selling for other reasons.

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          November 4, 2009 11:06 AM

          Whoa, people save money by playing wow? In the short term you may be right but long term that might not work out.

          $15/mo * 12 = $180

          $180 is approximately three PC games a year. Does the *average* PC gamer buy more than three games a year (one every four months)? Obviously on here we're all going to buy that many easily (I know I do). We're talking about 11 million people (according to blizzard) so I am guessing the answer trends to less than three.

          Given the system requirements of WoW I would suggest that a decent amount of the subscribers don't have PCs that are quick enough to allow copious purchasing of games.

          I've known people who bought one game and played it literally for over a decade. People still play starcraft, half-life, quake, diablo 2, etc... Those dudes, they're definitely saving money by NOT playing WoW.

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          November 4, 2009 12:23 PM

          My mindset has always been one of bounty, not scarcity. I think that the number of games that are not bought because of WoW is probably pretty small, except perhaps other MMOs that try to do what WoW does and fail. If a game is a standout, it will be bought. Dragon Age will do just fine, for example, regardless of whether the kid that buys it logs onto WoW later in the day.

          Hell, I could take this in the other direction. WoW is also another avenue for people to talk about games that they like. I love Borderlands, so I was on Vent telling my fellow guildies what a great game it was just last week. I know that a couple of them went and bought it based on my recommendation, because they told me so.

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            November 4, 2009 12:24 PM

            To put a finer point on things, I don't see video game purchases as a zero sum, er, game. The idea that a big game sucks the air out of the room and keeps other games from being bought doesn't really seem all that plausible to me.

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        November 3, 2009 12:25 PM

        I love me the shit out of WoW; what I hate are chinese gold farmers.

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          November 3, 2009 12:44 PM

          who are playing on US servers anyway, so shutting down the chinese servers would accomplish nothing at all

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            November 3, 2009 6:18 PM

            and they only sell gold to other chinese players amirite?

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          November 3, 2009 8:58 PM

          You think shutting down the Chinese servers would decrease the number of Chinese gold farmers on US/EU/AU servers?

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      November 3, 2009 10:56 AM

      No shit.

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