Chinese internet company Netease recently took over the hosting of World of Warcraft in China, resulting in the game being down for six weeks. The reason? Chinese government censors have been wielding the scissors with Blizzard's MMO phenomenon, before allowing it to restart.
The result is a less gory WoW that's deemed to be more suitable by the Chinese regulators. No, I never regarded World of Warcraft as being gory either, but it's worth remembering that age ratings for games don't exist in China.
Some of the changes made by the famously cuddly Chinese government include piles of bones in the game being replaced with sandbags, undead in-game avatars having a layer of flesh attached to visible skeletal bones, and icons depicting skulls, severed heads, and blood changed to more generic-looking boxes. You can see some 'before' and 'after' shots for yourself here.
Even the color of blood that spills from monsters has changed from red to black. This has led to community jokes about their characters running on petroleum. As one Chinese gamer says:
"It's just like oil, my orc warrior have black blood and hit with dark effect, sucks! Petroleum, the Valuable Resources of Human, we shouldn't waste it."
[MMOSite, via Gamasutra]