Two years after its US release, China has finally approved the release of Wrath of the Lich King, the second World of WarCraft expansion set. There are a number of reasons the Chinese release of the game took so long: The first Chinese distributor of the game, The9, lost its license from Blizzard after allegedly poor management; then, the new distributor, NetEase, was ordered to heavily censor the expansion, and the approval process was a long and plodding one.
As in previous Chinese World of Warcraft censorship efforts, a number of game models have been changed for the Chinese Wrath of the Lich King. Skulls and skeletons are particularly taboo: In Chinese World of Warcraft, corpses already turn into tombstones instead of skeletons when the player resurrects, “making sites of heavy PvP look like odd little graveyards.” [Susana’s words.] As documented by Chinese gaming site chinagame.178.com, the Wrath of the Lich King model changes are particularly focused on covering up skeletons and cleaning up gore:
A few example swaps: For each, the original model is on the left, the revised Chinese version is on the right.
The Chinese WotLK also uses the familiar censorship device of turning red blood green.
Hit chinagame.178.com for more side-by-side comparisons, with commentary.
Susana Polo contributed research.
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