• May 28, 2023


World of Warcraft has a long history in China (which we'll tell another time), but their love affair continues at its best. It is so significant that Blizzard itself decided to censor its own game.
China is not the most democratic country, although there will be those who praise the huge economic boom that has taken place there. The Chinese love World of Warcraft to such an extent that the government was once forced to set a kind of clock in the games, because it feared for the health of players. The clock, after three hours of non-stop play, gradually lowered the character's stats. No wonder that especially there should be banned games.

Of course, there are various rumors. About the fact that prisoners were forced to dig gold in the game. About people being imprisoned when they dug for gold illegally. You know. But as I said, this is material for another story, because today we will talk about Chinese censorship and where World of Warcraft went slightly off the rails. Although it had its reasons!

World of Warcraft censorship

In China, the Forsaken models look a little different, skeletons don't appear as enemies, and when the player dies, they come across their own tombstone. Some skull or bone icons are replaced by bag icons. This is all due to a supposed law that prohibits the display of skeletons and scary scenes in the Land of the Dragon. As we learn from Tech in Asia - this is not entirely true. Blizzard decided to censor the game just in case. After all, there are games, such as Age of Wushu, in which we see skeletons.

According to Tech in Asia, there are some provisions in Chinese law that could actually be pulled up to block World of Warcraft, but the government would have to be very malicious. There is - admittedly - a law that prohibits the promotion of cults and superstitions. If someone were very persistent, they could actually pull the poor skeletons from WoW as we know it up to that provision.

Companies, just in case, prefer to protect their interests and censor games in China. Dota 2, for example, does this so it's easier for them to release it in China - because it gets the green light from the country's Minister of Culture. And they have to do it quickly, because anytime a game is not released in the Land of the Dragon, players begin to venture into American and European servers, taking away potential profits from game developers in the country itself (that's why we see all sorts of fakes so quickly). Of course, people blamed the government for the censorship of World of Warcraft, but the truth is that in a theoretically communist open-air museum, free market mechanisms are alive and well.