After weeks of being offline, massively popular online game World of Warcraft is getting a partial relaunch in China. That's not all, though.
Content found "questionable" by the Chinese government needs changing as well. Developer Blizzard previously changed skeleton characters to characters with normal human bodies at the request of the government.
After Blizzard switched local operators, the game went offline two months ago and Chinese players began flooding Taiwanese servers. In China, it's necessary for new operators of foreign games to apply for a licence as well as have the game's content reviewed. The game won't fully re-launch until this process is finished.
The country's cultural ministry initially approved the game's content. However, according to Yahoo!, the Chinese government found some content that needs modification. Once these games are made, World of Warcraft will be submitted again. Those connected with the approval process have declined to state what content needs changing or how long the approval process will take.
While this process is underway, the government has allowed a partial re-launch for "internal testing" on July 30. Thus, players who already have accounts will be able to play WoW; new users will not be able to sign up until the title finally is approved. During this period, the game's local operator, NetEase, won't be able to charge gameplay subscription fees.
According to some estimates, there are as many as 5 million WoW players in China alone, putting the total global number at over 40 percent.
World of Warcraft Allowed Partial Relaunch in China [Yahoo! Thanks, Gabriel!][Pic]