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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?