Mega-blockbuster World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King still isn’t on sale in China, waiting on approval from Chinese censors who are nitpicking over “skeletons” in the game. And now it’s looking less and likely Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) latest will get approval anytime soon — China is vowing to make it harder and harder for games like WoW to get the thumbs up.
Blame good old-fashioned protectionism: The Chinese Government hopes to make homegrown, Chinese games more attractive by keeping foreign games off the market.
Bad news for Activision and its Chinese distributor The9 (NCTY). The longer China can keep Lich King under wraps, the more Chinese WoW players will get frustrated and move on to other games. Which, from the Chinese government’s perspective, is the whole point.
JLM Pacific Epoch: The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) intends to tighten approval criteria for online game imports in an effort to protect the development of domestic online game enterprises and avoid the excessive penetration of foreign culture among Chinese youth, reports Sohu quoting GAPP Technology and Digital Publishing Bureau Director Kou Xiaowei on March 16. GAPP will move from inspection standards that treat domestic and foreign games equally to become more strict when dealing with influential games such as The9’s (Nasdaq:NCTY) licensed MMORPG World of Warcraft, said Kou.