So, just because a year ago, the Chinese government 'terminated' World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade doesn't mean that World Of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King can't launch over there on August 31 this year.
This will, of course, lead to an explosion in subscriber figures for Blizzard as Chinese gamers return to the popular but politically troubled MMO.
Well, it appears that the Chinese government, Activision/Blizzard and local company NetEase have finally made up. This follows ructions galore wherein the authorities not only pulled the Burning Crusade
but also banned foreign organisations
from investing in domestic online gaming operations via "joint ventures, wholly owned enterprises and cooperatives" in 2009.
William Ding, CEO of NetEase points out that, "We are fully prepared on all fronts to provide great service and support to all of the new and returning players throughout China, and we look forward to welcoming them to Northrend."
Fascinatingly Acti-Blizz also provides a detailed breakdown of what a Chinese WoW subscriber actually is:
"World of Warcraft
subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft
Fair enough... but there's more:
"...those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access."
"Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers."
All good news for WoW, the subscriber levels of which had been holding but not growing of late.