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Chinese release of Wrath of the Lich King still delayed

Around early February, it was reported that Wrath of the Lich King's Chinese release had been delayed. It was suspected that the launch was postponed until after the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) which occurred in the first week of March, but things are starting to look a little bleak.

There are rumors abounds that Blizzard and The9 are having something of a falling out, but it's being reported that things are going much more poorly on The9's end. Specifically, they've hit some trouble with the censorship board. You might recall that China has some very, very strict rules when it comes to things like video games and movies. Many of the models in the base World of Warcraft game needed to be altered to conform to these rules, such as the exposed bones on the Forsaken and the bones left behind when a player dies.

Right now, we're adventuring in a very grim Azeroth. The very things that are frowned upon in Chinese games (exposed bones, etc) are a primary focus of Wrath of the Lich King. That's not good for WoW's future in China. Not good at all. JLM Pacific Epoch is reporting that the Chinese government has rejected at least two applications from The9 for Wrath of the Lich King's release, due to content such as skeletal characters and 'a city raid' which I assume is referring to The Battle For Undercity. The most recently submitted version didn't even contain the Death Knight class, apparently.

I assume that nobody knows the entire story behind this except for The9, and it's unlikely that we'll ever find out precisely what's going on. Taking all of this at face value, though? It's unlikely that Wrath of the Lich King is going to get a Chinese launch anytime soon, though I'd love to be proven wrong about that. I think that all of us reading (and writing) this blog love WoW, and we'd be pretty irritated if something like this kept the expansion out of our hands for this long. I somewhat fear that when they finally get the product in their hands, they'll be fighting hordes of My Little Ponies instead of the Scourge and Death Knights will be replaced with Cabbage Patch Kids.

...well, okay, maybe not Cabbage Patch Kids. Those are still pretty creepy.

[via Massively]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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