AUG. 23, 2010 • After an extended period in official regulatory limbo, NetEase.com and Blizzard Ent. will release The Wrath of the Lich King expansion for Chinese World of Warcraft players on Aug. 31.
Impact: The question rolling around Chinese game media these days is whether the delays have cost World of Warcraft an important window. Players with financial resources have already been playing the latest expansion on nearby servers such as those in Taiwan, and don’t desire leveling characters again through the same content via mainland accounts. There are also plenty of compelling home grown MMOs that have launched in the last two years. The Lich King expansion should still prove to be a big draw in China, the question has to be, how much potential revenue has been lost, and how will that affect NetEase’s bottom line?