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Reader Comments (40)

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 6:21PM (Unverified) said

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Sounds like somebody is looking for a bribe.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 6:55PM (Unverified) said

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Too true. I don't think The9 got away with doing exactly the same thing without paying someone off. Wonder what went wrong there.

But there would be one bright side if this happened. No more Chinese Gold Farmers!
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Posted: Jul 14th 2009 8:05PM (Unverified) said

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You mean, a BIGGER bribe. Someone finally realized how much WoW is worth in China and decided to squeeze it for more money and/or favors. I bet that some "mysterious benefactors" (=gold sellers) will quietly assist with any necessary payments/complications so Blizzard will not have to open its wallet too far. This "major issue" will disappear from the news within a month and everyone involved will smile smugly and claim, "don't worry, it is all taken care of."
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Posted: Jul 15th 2009 12:55AM CyberNigma said

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@Calarius

Keep in mind that most of the gold farmers you are probably referring to (namely ones that farm for gold sellers that sell to players in the West) play on NA and EU servers, otherwise they wouldn't be able to sell gold to you in the first place. This won't affect them at all since they are already playing with a NA/EU client on NA/EU server unless they great firewall of China all of a sudden decides to block those connections. In other words, those people did business with Blizzard in the US and Europe, not necessarily Blizzard/the9 in China.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2009 6:21PM Anatidae said

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I thought I read somewhere that the Chinese servers are currently offline due to this switchover. Maybe I am wrong. But it is interesting how many players would be lost.

In the same article though it did mention that Blizzard only makes a fraction of its income from the Chinese players. So although they number millions, they only pay pennies to play. Money is money, but is isn't nearly as bad as loosing millions of American players.

Again, it is just what I read elsewhere. I would love to see some investigative journalism on this site look deeper into this story and outline what all this really means as opposed to just repeating another news story. How much will this affect Blizzard? How much do they make from China? Are there any news blurbs from the the various companies in question?

This is great start on a very interesting article.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 6:27PM (Unverified) said

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Sucks for Blizzard, but I would be more than happy for China to block all access to WoW servers and kill their thriving gold-stealing market.

Buying gold supports account-hacking. DO NOT BUY GOLD!

Posted: Jul 15th 2009 1:17AM (Unverified) said

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The vast majority of chinese gold farmers and dealers are working "legitamitely" in the sense that they aren't involved in hacking individuals' accounts. Rather, hundreds of thousands of mostly young men work upwards of seventy hours a week farming instances and selling their wares on the AH to meet daily gold quotas, the sum total of which is then given over to a dealer to sell to North American and European players.

Also, recognize that the only way they can farm the gold in the first place is to do so on North American servers. Chinese gold farmers who service North Americans play on our servers and pay our subscription fees; they aren't going away even if Chinese WoW servers dissapear.
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Posted: Jul 15th 2009 6:22PM (Unverified) said

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To sean...

That's simply not true. It's propganda put out by the gold-sellers, to make people feel it's ok to buy gold. I'll bet you read it in an article profiling one of the companies involved, or one of the employees. Of course they're not going to admit they're hackers.

90% of the gold bought and sold for real world money is stolen from hacked accounts.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2009 7:28PM (Unverified) said

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Isn't it 15 million subscribers now?

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 6:55PM Nadril said

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What would happen to the Chinese players playing on taiwan servers and stuff? I wonder if they'd still be able to do so.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 7:01PM TheJackman said

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Not gonna happen :) A other news item base on rumors and no facts to back it up!
Its still 17 Million active subscribers!

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 7:20PM (Unverified) said

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17 million? Now you're just making numbers up. The highest Blizz has ever reported was 11.5 million. Look Jack, we realize you love WoW. That's all fine and good. I'm quite fond of it myself. But this China fiasco isn't good news whatever way you slice it. Stop sounding like a spin doctor.
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Posted: Jul 15th 2009 1:15PM (Unverified) said

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Lol, 17 million
They have 12 million subscribers, they haven't even mentioned how many of those accounts are still active. Notice how numbers haven't increased in the same exponential rate they did shortly after TBC's release. Blizzard know they are losing customers more than anyone else; and this china ban will only make it worse. It may not be a lot of money being lost, but it's a giant blow to their market share
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Posted: Jul 14th 2009 7:18PM J Brad Hicks said

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... to be followed, almost immediately, by the opening of a new service with almost exactly the same name, using pirated Blizzard code, coincidentally owned by the son of some guy in the Politburo. When Blizzard sues, they will find that it is impossible to get a judge anywhere in China to take seriously a criminal or civil case against a top ranking official or any of their immediate family members. This is what happens when you invest big money in a country with one of the most nakedly corrupt judicial systems in the world; one billion potential customers or one trillion, it doesn't matter if all you can do is make stuff for well-connected insiders to steal.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 7:52PM Cicadymn said

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Halve?

Try dropping 9 million subscribers.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 7:53PM Gaugamela said

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Lies!
It's 100 million subscribers!

Seriously, this is really bad news for WoW. They will loose a big chunk of their subscriber base and this will largely affect their income.
With this its easy to predict a big influx of new players to Aion. I wonder if these two things are connected? (not insinuating NCSoft has anything to do with it, but someone with economic interests in this)

Posted: Jul 15th 2009 8:50AM (Unverified) said

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Please remember that China is not all of Asia. Asia consists of approximately 5 million subs. How many of those are national Chinese living in China? We don't know the numbers. South Korea, however, has a very large player base. As does Japan.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2009 9:51PM (Unverified) said

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An anonymous Insider.....

Translation some dumbass making things up. How can you prove that you are a insider if you wish to remain anonymous? Is any real insider stupid enough to risk their jobs for a Internet scoop?

Smells like BS to me.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 9:26PM Valentina said

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Except for the part where WoW no longer has 11 million subscribers. Try halving that and you'll get the real number.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 9:53PM engrey said

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You have to remember that in China they do not pay monthly fees (unless running on the US client.)

Most of their money is made in the US and Europe, since we pay monthly fees. In China they pay by the hour in cyber-cafes. It is about 6 cents an hour for them to play WoW. Also 2-2.5 million in NA, 3-4 million in Europe and the rest in Asia. So at worst WoW would be down to 5 million subscribers, that is still better then any MMO out.

So Blizz will not lose that much money if China really puts it's foot down.

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