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3-10-2008 @ 10:08AM
Interesting topic. I must have seen hundreds of posts in the General and Wrath of the Lich King official forums regarding the inclusion of Panderans as a new race. It might even be a weekly demand. But like you said, the prominent rebuttal as to why Panderans cannot be a part of WoW is because of the potential Chinese law forbidding the killing of pandas in video games. The large amount of Asian WoW subscribers, including “mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.” which add up to approximately 5.5 million, according to Blizzard's last press release (http://blizzard.co.uk/press/080122.shtml) indicates that the gaming population of China, at least, has considerable weight when it comes to the sales of the original WoW and its expansion, The Burning Crusade, as well as monthly subscriptions. My point is that a possible ban by the Chinese government of the game could very well impact Blizzard’s profits. It is definitely safer for the company to avoid such a scenario and save the headache of adding different skins for the different regions of the world that play WoW. It might even anger the player base of many of these people if they do go ahead and do it. What if a large portion of North American gamers, for example, cried out in dismay when it turned out that the Naga race looked and moved better than the Panderan one? Not all the people who posted in the official forums, or even in the comments section for WoW Insider advocated having the Panderans as a new race. I even remember seeing several posters that were disgusted at a “cute” race being added. But, that’s probably not a strong point, as many people didn’t like the new races added in the BC and subscriptions were still on the rise. Though, having the Panderans would be amazing, in my opinion, especially as it brings the possibility of having the Brewmaster as a new Class, too. It will be interesting to see what Wrath of The Lich King and the following expansions will offer besides what they told us.
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