WOW row inside Chinese government intensifies

Culture Ministry castigates rival agency for having "overstepped its authority" by revoking World of Warcraft permits; Blizzard claims MMORPG still "online and operational" in China.

Earlier this week, one arm of the Chinese government attempted to shut down local operations of World of Warcraft. Now, another Beijing regulatory agency has declared the move went too far--raising further questions about the fate of Blizzard Entertainment's massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the country.

The Chinese government has two agencies fighting to keep WOW players in line.

According to the New York Times (registration required), the Chinese Ministry of Culture denounced the move by the Chinese General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) to suspend WOW operations in the Asian nation. On Monday, Reuters reported that GAPP had revoked the permit needed to operate the MMORPG from localization partner NetEase, citing "gross violations" of Chinese law.

In a Wednesday article in the Beijing newspaper Economic Information Daily (translated by the Times), a Culture Ministry official declared, "In regards to the World of Warcraft incident, the General Administration of Press and Publication has clearly overstepped its authority. They do not have the authority to penalize online gaming."

The dispute is part of a larger dispute between the GAPP and Culture Ministry over which can regulate China's booming online gaming market. Hong Kong-based Citi Investment Research & Analysis analyst Alicia Yap told the Times that online gaming revenues rose 50 percent in 2008 to $2.9 billion--10 times what it was five years ago. That total is expected to more than double by 2013, said Yap.

So where does the Chinese government's internecine bureaucratic battles leave World of Warcraft? "That aside from some downtime tied to the standard maintenance schedule, the game is online, operational, and hasn't been suspended [in China]," a Blizzard rep told GameSpot.

Earlier this year, the Culture Ministry made headline for summarily banning online "gangster games" in China.

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55 comments
RitterXplode
RitterXplode

weaponx789 said the best reply among all of you.

pimperjones
pimperjones

Blizzard needs to understand how China works. You always pay off both sides equally, until you figure out which side has the control. Looks like somebody forgot to slip GAPP their monthly blank cheque. It's all about the Mao Notes in China, pay off both the CAPP and CMC like you're suppose to and everything will be rosy.

electroban
electroban

@richioso Yes but does Sierra Leone have the income the U.S. has. Please keep your 12 year old prattle to yourself.

richioso
richioso

@VectrexFanBoy The US is one of the most heavily in debt nations in the world, Sierra Leone have more money than the US.

tyco_ex
tyco_ex

What Comment1 said. They are pretty much a totalitarian government. It's a common misconception that communism = totalitarian. The reason being that a totalitarian government is practically necessary to implement communism, but they are not one in the same.

Ottozero
Ottozero

oh..... ok. This could lead to WW3

Comment1
Comment1

As has been said, China isn't Communist. It used to be, but it hasn't been for some years. The point of Communism is that the People own the factories, farms, property and land, and it is shared amongst them, usually by an all powerful government. The intention, is to bring equality to all. ...'Well, they are most definantly communist, I mean a great example would be trying to use google over there :p' ... That has nothing to do with Communism, just as free speech and bittorrents have nothing to do with a capitalist economic system. The fact is, China has businesses, buisnessmen, billionaires, entrepreneurs and a growing middle class. These are all things they are promoting, which is anathema to Communism.

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

FMD129 is right. quick, all WoW players, find chinese military players and get info from them!

Viralmessiah666
Viralmessiah666

maybe it'd cut down on the number of gold farmers who screw up the economies of games if they did shut it down...

Montague
Montague

I was there during the 60th anniversary with my wife's family who is ex-military (very high) and we couldn't access Facebook style sites, anything really American (we couldn't even access our sites to pay bills). We were there for 2 months which made communicating with friends in the states difficult. You can not even watch movie trailers from US stationed sites to give you an idea of how bad it is. Her parents did say the Chinese government says it regulates American sites to block porn (which is kind of ironic with all the Chinese porn sites). Anyways, her parents said it was really because they do not want the Chinese population to really know what is going on. I am not against China of course, it is a great place to visit but it does have it's issues. An uninformed population is much easier to control. As for WoW, i don't see it getting cancelled, Chinese believe in Money, and it brings Money into the economy, and i don't know how many packed internet sites we walked by and saw over half of the people where playing WoW. Blizzard just has to wave a few shiney's and the problem is solved (j/k).

FMD129
FMD129

@Scorchgame Well, they are most definantly communist, I mean a great example would be trying to use google over there :p But they are slowly becoming more capitalistic, so I somewhat agree with you. And on the actual subject itself, im not surprised they are trying to ban it, cause they could easily talk to somebody not from china and let out information un-censored.

Reiken37
Reiken37

China is definitly a Communist country. On another note, this makes me LOL so hard. I can't wait to see what happens in the future.

ShadowXStorm
ShadowXStorm

@ Scorchgame I think you sir are the one that needs to learn what communism truely is...

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

Ruled under single Communist party of China and its not communist ....lol a good one

weaponx789
weaponx789

let's all calm down & hope that China & its regulatory agencies do what's best for the residents of China.

Scorchgame
Scorchgame

@HuSSaR83 China is hardly even communist, it has a capitalist based economy you stupid. I suggest you idiots learn more about China and its policies before you say anything out of context. Plus, without China, would your bloody things be cheap?

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

It's obvious Communist Chinese government doesnt want its huge populace to keep growing on this game and support(give money) to Capitalist economy of United States.

DavidCK
DavidCK

@ aldrenar47 The reason I've pointed out some numbers is that most people here thinks the chinese government is some dictator running the whole show. Believe it or not, there is a voting system there. Also, the news media here in the states 'forgot' to show the important speech the chinese president made during the 60th anniversary. Which is, they are moving TOWARDS a democracy. Wake up people, democracy doesn't happen in a day. By the way, the chinese system is general moves way faster than any other political system historically speaking.

DavidCK
DavidCK

@ aldrenar47 The chinese government consists of 20 million members. You've read that right, 20,000,000. Stop getting yourself brainwashed by CNN and actually try to understand their culture before repeating word by word these 'mouthpieces' like a parrot.

wonzan
wonzan

@Ardus - gamespot was once an British only gaming site.

Ardus
Ardus

WoW "row?" Who talks like that? What is this now, BritSpot?

blakeney
blakeney

sticking to the gaming side of this story though lol!!! this is bad news for acti-blizz!! in a good way lol! i dont intend on playing hte next expantion and i played since day 1! reason being i think blizz are taking things too far from every angle!! i know people that have been perma banned for "sharing accounts" when they are brother and sister and play wow when visting!!? they can even ban you if you manage to find your way onto the graphical and 100% within the base game and urban myth that is "Gm island"!!! its pathetic and almost bullying their customers! they need something like this to bring them back to earth all ready for their next mmorpg! if they plan on releasing that with as many rules and bannables of wow they got news comming to them!

blakeney
blakeney

@ aldrenar47 give it a rest! these shows are "put on" the same everywhere!!! i guess you wet your pants too in the usa94 world cup when diana ross was made to look like she split the goal in half with her penalty kick!? but the skam was foiled becuase she missed yet the goal magicly still broke in half!! your living in a disney dreamworld!?!?

juliano001
juliano001

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

91210user
91210user

They're going to shut it down because of a law about 'money'. Yet little girl dies after playing and they should at least use the money to hire more psychologies to see why players are playing games alot more. China make up your mind.

raymondcs123
raymondcs123

Now this is kinda crazy. I live in China and I can tell you guys WoW is the most popular game around next to CS >.> This will piss off over three-quarters of the Chinese Gaming population AT LEAST

Cloud737
Cloud737

@ elwood499 Very well said! A regime is only as good as its people in power, though I have to say that some regimes are better at limiting abuses than others. @ 396117268 What? Excuse me? Don't you mean they like crazy? Didn't the [url=http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/SuperModels/mad-world-chinas-bind-is-ours-too.aspx]China-US ponzi scheme[/url] assured mutual destruction [to both] (even though China, laughably, tried to obtained more independence from the US economics but actually sank deeper), and now while the US suffers an economic crisis, China is sure to be the very next in line because of this? Please, if you don't know the facts, don't say anything. And if you also can't write a proper comment (with proper grammar) like an adult, please don't write one at all - you'd be doing yourself a favor by sparing yourself the impending embarrassment.

VectrexFanBoy
VectrexFanBoy

@ 396117268 china's economy is democratic. and before it was democratic is was very small, since they have opened their economy up they have seen a large growth. our economy may be slow right now, but we're ( U.S ) still a lot more wealthy =)

elwood499
elwood499

These types of problems are not about the political systems used, its about whose in power. Only a fool would believe that a inanimate abstract political system has morals.

freestyler_85
freestyler_85

aldrenar47 ... its amazing how naive you are jeez i thought people today had access to other sources besides fox news and CNN

aldrenar47
aldrenar47

The Chinese government is awful. I'm not even talking about communism (which I am not a fan of), but just the way they operate. They do not allow free speech and use very deceptive tactics to make their country look better. Just as an example, in the last Olympics they had a little girl lip-sync a recorded performance of a song because the talented girl that actually sang & recorded it was deemed "not attractive enough". But they tried to make it appear like a live performance and did not admit it until the truth was discovered by outside media. This is only a small example but it shows that they will do anything to 'save face'. They also frequently put positive spins on any bad news related to the government, or just flat out deny it.

JOKER677
JOKER677

fight the power fak that bogus government i smell an uprising

yboucher
yboucher

Ok, are we all gonna have the same ill-informed comments we had on the previous news this week? If so, just go to that one and re-read it all.

Seljek
Seljek

@396117268 Our economy may not be doing so well, but it sure is doing better than the USSR's.

Merl57
Merl57

way to have no respect for people's Free will way to disrespect human life China you disgust me, government corruption and power hungry men, its disgusting, we need more good people on this earth.

396117268
396117268

@VectrexFanBoy communism sucks I don't think so. Why their economy is growing like crazy meanwhile u r Suffering Financial Crisis?

andrewlkt
andrewlkt

That's what I said on the last news article. There are 2 competing ministries that want to be the ministry in charge of regulating videogames. It seems that Blizzard only bribed one, so the other put the hammer on them. Now the ones they bribed are starting to fight for them, pending continued bribes, of course.

VectrexFanBoy
VectrexFanBoy

@Paul_GameFury i know, right? what are they doing on a website that you can express your opinion on. i mean if this website were communist they wouldn't be able to give my comment a thumbs down.. =P

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

@VectrexFanBoy I'm a little afraid of the 5 people that gave your comment a thumbs down.

skateboard1587
skateboard1587

i dont know you guys, with this many people gathered together they must be plotting a revolution.

Trogeton
Trogeton

this game is way too addictive from what I hear.. I can't even try this game out for that..lol

Neosword
Neosword

This is just ridiculous. It's a game, people.

Inconnux
Inconnux

This is what happens when government tries to control every aspect of its citizens lives... those in control start to fight for power and petty infighting results in situations like these. So much for the communist idea of a Utopian idealistic society... human nature takes over.

ASG_
ASG_

Chinese government: trollface.gif

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

It is good to see at least that there are others in power there fighting this kind of ludicrous action.

allin2
allin2

Headline is misleading. Makes it sound like there is a Chinese government organization that solely deals with world of warcrack