World of Warcraft seeks reapproval in China gov't tangle

The game is caught in a turf war between Chinese government agencies

The China operator of World of Warcraft, one of the world's biggest online games, said Sunday it will seek new government approval for the game, dragging it further into a turf war between two Chinese regulatory agencies.

NetEase.com will apply to China's publishing regulator to release The Burning Crusade, an expansion pack for World of Warcraft, it said on the game's official Web site -- even though its players can already play the expansion. NetEase has been operating World of Warcraft with approval from China's culture ministry, but the ministry is locked in a dispute with the country's publishing regulator over who is entitled to regulate online games. The publishing agency has regulated online games in the past and ordered games it did not approve of to shut down.

NetEase also said it would suspend new player registration on the game for one week starting Monday, though the game and its expansion are still running. The reason NetEase gave was that it will use the week to reward old players with free play time.

A previous application by NetEase to run the game and its expansion pack was returned late last year by China's publishing regulator, the General Administration of Press and Publication. The agency also ordered NetEase to stop allowing new player registration and collecting game fees from players, but the company did neither.

NetEase became the China operator for World of Warcraft last year, when the game's maker Blizzard Entertainment switched local partners. NetEase was required to apply for new permission to operate the game even though it had been offered in China by Blizzard's previous partner. China's regulators screen online games for erotic, violent or other objectionable content and can order developers to make changes. World of Warcraft, for instance, has been modified in China to make skeletons in the game appear instead as normal human bodies.

World of Warcraft was offline in China for weeks last year when NetEase took over the game and had not yet been approved to operate it.

NetEase did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?