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China Warns Online Game Companies To Clean Up Their Act

by Jeff Marchiafava on Nov 20, 2009 at 08:46 AM

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China’s Ministry of Culture put out a statement yesterday announcing China’s intent to tighten restrictions on potentially offensive content in online games. The pressure is being placed on the game operators, such as NetEase.com (which operates World of Warcraft in China) and Tencent Holdings, to monitor their own content for inappropriate material. According to Reuters, this includes “obscene and violent content,” as well as PvP combat and virtual marriages.

“…the current product offerings are not up to standard and the cultural content is lowbrow and having a negative effect on the healthy development of the industry," the statement read.

NetEase CEO William Ding told Reuters the company will comply to the government’s demands, as they have in the past; earlier this year World of Warcraft was temporarily banned in China until NetEase replaced skeleton bones in the game’s virtual tombs with non-descript sacks. That may seem like a trivial dispute, but with projected sales revenue for online gaming in China this year landing somewhere around $3.5 billion, it’s easy to see why the company would be quick to keep lawmakers happy.