We have some really sad news for the World of Warcraft players: rumor has it that the General Administration of Press and Publication in China is investigating the joint venture between Blizzard and NetEase, the company that has the operating rights for WoW in China. And if the results of the investigations conclude that there is something fishy going on, World of Warcraft might get banned forever in China!
The information comes via MMOsite who name an anonymous source for their findings. According to them, it appears that NetEase are suspected of paying a huge revenue share to Blizzard (four times bigger than the previous operating rights holder, The9) and of creating a joint venture with Blizzard to actually operate the game under a fake technical support deal. And since the Chinese law says that foreign companies are not allowed to operate online games in China either via a wholly owned company or a joint venture, things get a bit messy with World of Warcraft.
Even more, MMOsite says that “because the case involves some major regulations and policies, it’s highly likely that the approval of World of Warcraft operating right transition will have been suspended before the investigation results come out.”
And that would be a really major blow for Blizzard, for the MMO fans and, probably, to the economy since there are millions of paying WoW players in China.
We’ll keep you updated if we receive some solid information to confirm this story.