Diablo III hasn't been released in China yet, but the game is definitely enjoying a lot of coverage there. Enterprising players are already playing the game by buying copies from foreign countries, much to the ire of Korean and Taiwanese players. Now it seems there may be a way for Chinese players to play Diablo III without causing problems for the Asian server.
People's Daily's online gaming channel, China's party newspaper's online website, as well as Tencent, one of China's largest internet gaming sites, have put out articles that heavily feature the use of a Diablo III crack so that players can play offline.
Currently, foreign games that enter the Chinese market need to be censored and "published" by a Chinese internet operator such as Tencent, Shanda or NetEase. NetEase is the operator for World of Warcraft in China.
The crack in question, released by the notorious game hacking group Skidrow, is basically a server emulator for Diablo III. The server emulator would allow the game to think that it was "connected" to Blizzards server, thus allowing the player to play Diablo III offline. Currently the crack is still in beta stage, but a torrent has been released.
Perhaps due to the overwhelming popularity of Blizzard games, Tencent and People's Daily have highlighted the story on their websites. The writers for the stories went even as far as to say, "we hope that SK group can have this crack working 100 per cent, so that we can play Diablo III before there is an official operator."
The articles also ask potential users of the crack to bear with the problems as the crack is only in beta. "We, as the guinea pigs, will have to be prepared for bugs but at least we can play offline."
Now there are countless legal issues at play with what the Tencent and People's Daily articles are promoting. Interestingly enough, both articles only bring up the legal issue of who will operate Diablo III when it is officially allowed into China, completely forgoing the obvious break in end user agreements and piracy laws.