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WoW Archivist: WoW in China, an uncensored history -- part 2

Joyland statues
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

In China, few Western games have been more embraced than World of Warcraft. But few games have endured more scrutiny from the government and more interruptions. As WoW Archivist covered two weeks ago, Chinese players have put up with censorship, endless waits for expansions, and intense bureaucratic meddling that shut the servers down for months. But their enthusiasm for the game remains.

Today, we will look at the more recent years of WoW in China, the raiding scene there, and the game's impact on popular culture, including a certain infamous theme park...

Too soon, Executus

After sorting out issues with the Ministry of Culture and GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publications), WoW operator NetEase was on a roll. Though Cataclysm also faced delays, it launched in China on July 12, 2011 -- just half a year after the Western release. By the standards of prior expansions in China, this release was practically instantaneous.

In a bitter irony, however, the expansion actually arrived too soon.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Unlicensed World of Warcraft theme park opens in China

World Joyland hungers.

If you love Chinese knock-offs -- and I know you do -- you'll love this bit of news: World Joyland, the famed and unlicensed World of Warcraft theme park in Changzhou, China, is now open for business. The people at Shanghaiist took a tour of the place, taking myriad pictures of their experience.

In actuality, the park is less of a WoW rip-off and more of a Blizzard rip-off. It includes a Starcraft-themed area named "Universe of Starship" in addition to its World of Warcraft area, which is named "Terrain of Magic."

What kind of rides does the place have? Well, Shanghaiist detailed one of them:

Our first ride was an exciting little number called Splash of Monster Blood, and they're not kidding about the splash. We'll just say this much: trying to act cool by refusing the buy a sky blue poncho on your way in is a giant n00b stamp.

The ride was, as its sign board attests, a "beast-bloody journey" (a.k.a. your standard amusement park log ride affair.) After clicking and chugging up a tunnel full of orcs and monsters, you are then plunged down into water that manages somehow to smash you from both the front and the back simultaneously.

While World Joyland may have skimped on the official licensing -- China is much cooler with copyright infringement than we Americans are -- we're pretty sure they didn't skimp on anything else while building the place. The place is probably totally safe and not covered in lead-based paints. Right? Right?

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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