Congratulations World of Warcraft players in China!...Well, perhaps, congratulations is a bit too strong a word. Anyway, it turns out China's General Administration of Press and Publication and WoW's new operator in the region, NetEase.com, have reached an agreement over what content changes will be implemented in the massively popular MMORPG in order to get the game up and running again after being down for over a month.
As Gamasutra reports, NetEase.com was forced to make some rather ridiculous changes to the game before gaining approval to relaunch it. Currently, the game is only playable to existing WoW players in the form of a free closed beta, and so far, users have been noticing some rather amusing changes to the game they knew and loved.
MMOSite has documented some of these changes, which include bone piles being replaced with sandbags, and the color of blood being changed from red to black. More amusing are the new talent tree icons, some of which have magically transformed from severed heads, skulls and blood to boxes, satchels and crates. Because if there's anything more offensive and socially devious than cartoony depictions of skulls and bones, I haven't seen it.
Then again, WoW players in China make up around 50 percent of the game's worldwide user base. So I guess if a few bones need to be removed, or the biological color of blood needs to be altered, to get those millions of players back online, then unfortunately that's what has to happen.
I'm currently waiting to hear back from Blizzard to see what it has to say about all of this, so I'll let you know if I hear anything.