World of Warcraft Turned into World of Boxes


[nddaily] Famous online game World of Warcraft China server was suspended for 54 days. It is finally re-opened its service on July 30. Millions of Chinese gamers cheered with “tears of joy”, but they were also surprised to find that many models in the game have been modified. Especially a lot of icons of character’s head have been replaced with “boxes”. “Harmonized” (Hexie: ‘和谐’ now is ‘盒谐’,it just happens the word ‘box’ in Chinese has the same pronunciation as the first character of Harmony) World of Warcraft is now called “World of Boxes” by gamers.

NetEase World of Warcraft project leader Li Riqiang (李日强) said we very much like to bring the same, original version of the WoW just like the rest of the world to gamers. But the requirement was that it must comply with regulatory authorities’ relevant laws and regulations.

Li Riqiang said, during the internal testing phase regulatory authorities will evaluate and confirm a final approval, after one week service should officially operate. “We have made so many changes the gamers have already noticed and found them, this means we really changed, so that regulatory authorities will more likely to see our efforts.”

Ever since NetEase took over the World of Warcraft service, it has been nothing but twists and turns, now the service was finally re-opened yesterday, gamers waited nearly 2 month finally got back into World of Warcraft, but very soon they noticed they have gotten back to a “harmonized” world.

This is not the first time WoW has been “harmonized” by the Chinese government. In June 2007, WoW’s CGI models were already “harmonized” once. At that time the modifications are, putting meat and flesh onto skeletons, when skeletons were killed in the game, it turns into a tomb instead of corpses. Later they also made changes like changing the profession “thief” or “rogue” into “stealther” etc. And this time’s modifications are even more extreme, all the head and skull icons are turned into “boxes” or “bags”.

Yesterday 4 am, server finally started up, the professional World of Warcraft Forum NGA quickly filled with topics on “boxes”. Till 11 pm that night, there were already thousands of posts devoted to discussing “boxes”.

“Is NetEase getting LV, Prada, and Gucci as sponsors? Why are there full of bags?” “Fuck the boxes!” … Some gamers even imitated a TV interview to express their feelings.

XXTV “This gamer, Please talk about how you feel about box World!”

Gamer “…”

XXTV “Why are you not talking?”

Gamer “My stomach hurts”

Among WoW characters magician uses skull icons the most , therefore it becomes the most victimized character.  Magician is turned into a “man carries boxes”. Luckily people already made an “anti-boxtize (anti-harmonize)” patch! Player uses this patch can restore the box icons to the original icons.

Gamers also noticed some other modifications, like character spectre got fatter; some character’s abilities which causes bleeding and the blood is now black instead of red…

Li Riqiang in an interview said World of Warcraft is a high-quality product in the world and has been widely recognized and loved. NetEase is ready since the beginning to update the game version and content to be same as the rest of the world as much as possible, “under the condition of following laws and regulations at the same time.” He said WoW server should be officially operating in one week.

20090731-wow-01 Modified cute eye patch

Skull icon vs. boxes:20090731-wow-02

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