Recent reports that China is throwing up obstacles to the introduction of World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King may be economic protectionism at work, says techno-financial site Silicon Alley Insider:
Wrath of the Lich King still isn’t on sale in China, waiting on approval from Chinese censors who are nitpicking over "skeletons" in the game. And now it’s looking less and likely Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) latest will get approval anytime soon — China is vowing to make it harder and harder for games like WoW to get the thumbs up.
Blame good old-fashioned protectionism: The Chinese Government hopes to make homegrown, Chinese games more attractive by keeping foreign games off the market.
By way of evidence, SAI points to a report published earlier this week by JLM Pacific Epoch, which tracks business happenings in China:
The [Chinese government] intends to tighten approval criteria for online game imports in an effort to protect the development of domestic online game enterprises and avoid the excessive penetration of foreign culture among Chinese youth…
The central government supports the export of domestic online games as a way to promote Chinese culture, and… plans to organize an overseas roadshow for domestic companies to cultivate efforts abroad…
GP: So, if the JLM report is correct, the Chinese don’t want Western games sold there, but would like to send Chinese games here. Sounds like something the ESA – which represents the interests of U.S. game publishers – might want to take up the U.S. government.