China shuts down World of Warcraft

Previously, we knew that the Chinese government was censoring World of Warcraft. Now, a separate non-governmental authority has wielded its Banhammer +42 (or whatever) and ordered that the game be shut down throughout the country.

This order comes direct from the General Administration of Press and Publication in China (GAPP), which is apparently displeased that the new version of the game lacks official approval, despite launching September 19. GAPP, incidentally, is going to head-to-head with the Chinese Ministry of Culture, which also looks after online gaming.

Shutting down World of Warcraft down in China essentially blocks 20% of the World's population from playing the mega-MMO. That's a big drop in potential consumers for Blizzard, and I suppose Cheetos and Mountain Dew, or whatever the Chinese equivalent is.

Nevertheless, Leon Li, vice president of Chinese mobile Internet firm KongZhong, thinks gamers will cope well enough:

“Millions of Warcraft players will suffer the most. But if you take a long term view of the industry, many of these Warcraft gamers may migrate to other games, so for the other Chinese online game companies, it is a good thing.”
[Reuters, via VG247]