Thursday, November 10, 2011

Anybody from China?

While I do try to keep up to date on what is going on with MMORPGs, I must admit that the sources I read are all European or American. Thus I completely missed the fact that Cataclysm was released in China this July, until a reader told me. Sorry about that.

But that bit of news makes me scratch my head quite a bit. What exactly is going on in China? According to Blizzard they lost a lot of subscribers in China in 2011, both before and after that Cataclysm release. That would be very atypical. Even if we consider Cataclysm a "bad" expansion, in Europe and America its release still led to a spike in subscription numbers. That spike fell off quicker than that of previous expansions, but that still took several months. Why would that be otherwise in China? To have a continued drop of subscriptions right through an expansion release, Cataclysm would have to have sold extremely badly in China. And I doubt that just because I and other blogger wrote about being bored of Cataclysm quickly it would affect sales numbers of that expansion in China. They probably don't read us any more than we read them.

So why did the release of Cataclysm not stop the slide of subscriptions in China? Was there some sort of protest because the expansion came out in a censored form? Was it released too fast after Wrath of the Lich King in China? Or were there other factors at work of which we are unaware? If you have any real information about that (other than your personal impression that Blizzard is the devil and WoW sucks), I'd love to hear about it. Are there any English-language sources discussing the state of WoW in China?

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