China And The Future Of Gaming

By RPS on July 21st, 2009 at 9:00 am.


In this latest guest post on RPS Chris “Evo” Evans looks at China, the net, its politics, and the future of censorship. Plenty of China-facts await.

It’s the most populous country. It’s record in freedom of speech is, to politely refrain from using the full range of ours, patchy. China’s net-censorship is amongst the worst in the world. They also really like their MMOs. They’re big on gold farming – the biggest, in fact. So there’s a lot we know about China, but we don’t often think how it all ties together. For the past twelve months, as part of my degree in Modern History and Politics, I have been living in a world of Chinese Whispers, writing a dissertation on Chinese Internet censorship. I didn’t have a chance to properly examine games, censorship and the Chinese Government during that project, and so I’m grasping the chance to do so now.

My first port of call was gamers and how many there are. Just what faction of that enormous population is involved? If there’s only five people and a dog sitting in a LAN Cafe, this really isn’t that interesting, but it’s somewhat more popular than that. The latest official figures China say that of the 298 million people who regularly use the internet in China, a massive 62.8% play games on it. That’s 187 million people playing everything from subs-based MMOs to browser-based puzzle games.

That’s a huge market. And, as with all huge markets, it has the power to generate a lot of money. Time for more numbers: hold onto your maths textbook firmly. It was recently revealed that online gaming in China generated $2.75 billion in revenue in 2008 with 77% originating with MMOs and the remainder from casual games. According to analysts, this is only the tip of the cash-berg: by 2013 the industry is expected to generate $8.9 billion. China Daily reported that the money generated in 2008 from the games industry was more than the combined revenues of the film, television and audio-visual industries. I suspect that won’t ever be the same in the west, as our musicians don’t exactly face the same problems in generating a little cash as theirs.

If you need a concrete example, looking at QQ Games gives an idea of gaming’s scale in china. This games and community operator has 67 mini casual games, 5 advanced casual games and 5 MMOs in its portfolio. Two of those MMOs have seen more than one million peak-concurrent user accounts – which is hefty numbers for a game solely available in that one country.

Being responsible for the majority of the money generated in Chinese gaming, MMOs are the force of the industry – and the much-discussed virtual money trading is still a key part of it. Last year several billion yuan was spent in these games – and with so much cash flowing around the world, it doesn’t exactly surprise you that the government has introduced a 20% tax on the profits that people are able to make by buying virtual currency and selling it on with a high mark-up for yuan. Can we expect similar initiatives occurring in the west? According to tax experts from the UK and US it is legal for people to be taxed on profits earned in online currencies . But back in China, the traders aren’t completely dominant. Recently the Chinese government have prevented gamers using actual game currencies to purchase real world goods directly – the equivalent of being able to “cash out” your in-game wealth in the manner of swapping chips for real money when you leave the casino. That’s one route to out-of-game wealth closed. The parallel trade system of virtual currency exchange (i.e. In the Game World party A gives party B gold, in the real world party B gives party A cash) remains untouched. How much of this dual-standard approach is because of worries about wanting to crack down on gambling and how much is due to the simple fact the latter is much more easily taxable and – fundamentally – an export.

Moving away from the money there are other far more wide-ranging examples of Governmental interference. It was recently announced that all online gamers in China would have to carry registered ID cards to play in cyber cafes. The Chinese governments’ press agency, Xinhua stated: “The system will restricts a minor’s playing time by cancelling half their earned credits if they remain online for more than three hours a day. If the child plays for more than five hours a day, all of their gaming credits will be lost. The survey also showed that about 60 percent of youngsters are satisfied with the anti-addiction system.”

It’s worth remembering that government surveillance is a regular motif in China. State employees are already paid to monitor forums and cybercafes. With the government’s interest, the idea of people playing popular games to track discourse and dissent is easy – and with gamer’s registered under their real name, easy to trace to an individual. However, while attacking personal freedoms, it’s also a law which is trying to deal with what appears to be an enormous social problem: MMO addiction. We’re all aware of the horror stories: gamers playing for three days straight and ultimately dying from their addiction. Of course the question of what games addiction actually exists is controversial, and another example of an East/West Divide. The American Medical Association is not yet ready to class excessive-gaming as a formal addiction while China has gone ahead and created clinics to treat it as exactly that.

But the issue of political censorship is what fascinates me most of all. It’s not limited to China, of course. Australia’s attempts to extend its control are regularly discussed, and Germany has a decade-long history in having videogames altered with green-blood for their markets, the fear of actually being arrested for the law isn’t nearly so constant.

What’s also interesting is the focus of the particular censorship of these countries. What games do the Chinese censors target? Those which contain “content violating basic principles of the Constitution, threatening national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity and that might divulge state secrets” and “online games with content threatening state security, damaging the nation’s glory, disturbing social order and infringing on other’s legitimate rights” are banned from being imported into the country. They’re the same reasons why many websites have been blocked by China, though so far there’s are only a few examples of games being banned.

Perhaps the most prominent was the Zero Hour expansion to Command and Conquer: Generals, banned along with Project IGI 2: Covert Strike for “intentionally blackening China and the Chinese army’s image”. The Paradox game Hearts of Iron 2 was also banned and accused of “distorting history and damaging China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” because it portrayed several Chinese provinces as independent sovereign countries at the beginning of the game. When asked about the games censorship in China and how it may influence their future development, Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester said: “We do not see ourselves as having compromised at all in this particular issue. We have removed certain symbols from the game (like swastikas etc) but we have not changed any historical data when requested by specific nations” In other words, it seems likely that Hearts of Iron 3 will receive a similar judgment from the censors as its predecessor did.

Conversely, the intrinsically political Democracy 2 has not been banned… though one does wonder what would happen if Cliff had included China in the game. And… well, if it were more popular. In the last four years Cliff has had four direct sales from China, less than what he has had from countries such as Latvia and Kuwait, though one more than Fiji. “I don’t see China as a decent market for me, because I make downloadable games and piracy is way too rife,” says Cliff on releasing his games in the territory, “If I move into mostly online games and support Unicode…”

There is also no question that piracy is a major issue in China. The censorship and import limits imposed on games are bound to lead to a rise in piracy. If Chinese gamers can’t legally get their hands on the next big thing at retail, then pirating it would be seen as a fair alternative. This is one reason why the online games market is so big in China, developers know that people will pay per month in order to play the game, thus negating the potential of loosing revenue through piracy.

Cliff’s comments speak of the barrier to entry to the Chinese market for small developers. How to make money when so few people actually buy games? At least the big players can make large steps. Nintendo went so far as to ask the US Trade Representative to encourage countries to take action against piracy. The company revealed that over one million fake Nintendo products have been seized by the Chinese authorities, though no counterfeiters have prosecuted. A year before the action by Nintendo, the US Trade Representative put China, along with Russia, at the top of a ‘Priority Watch List’ for rampant piracy.

My personal suspicion is that one of the true purposes of China net-controlling “Green Dam Project” is to try and curb piracy. The delayed project will eventually see all new PCs sold in China come with pre-installed filtering software. To state the obvious: this will simply make it easier for the Chinese authorities to spy on all aspects of people’s lives, the games they play and what they are doing in these games. If this to do with trying to make China a more attractive market for Western businesses, it could also be seen as the ultimate DRM. You think your issues with DRM are bad? Imagine if your PCs came with it pre-installed. And imagine how vindicated the exponents of DRM would start to feel.

It’s fair to suspect that even this radical measure won’t work, of course.

More significantly, the games industry is booming in China, but it is reliant on MMOs. Even that market will soon reach a saturation level, making it tough for Western companies to gain a foothold. To add to that, what we’ll be looking at in Chinese markets are highly marketable Western franchises which can be micro-transaction driven (as in, applying Battlefield Heroes’ approach to almost any game). How successful these are will depend entirely on Chinese gamers willingness to move on from their current, highly popular, locally made MMOs… all of which amounts to a force that is much more important than what the Chinese state decides to do: what the gamers want to do.

To conclude, it seems that in some extreme way, China may give us a snapshot view of how gaming may change in the coming years – a greater focus on online games and potentially greater governmental interference in all aspects of the net. No matter how we currently feel about our own situation, and the power and influence of Western attitudes towards the net, we are probably going to end up being amongst the minority of net users. What happens in China certainly bears close watching, because there’s more than Gold Farmers in them there hills.

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44 Comments »

  1. Paxeh says:

    Mr. Evans? I know that guy!

  2. TeeJay says:

    Might as well quote this part from the recent PC Gaming Alliance report: http://www.pcgamingalliance.org /RESOURCES/Articles/tabid/397/Default.aspx as it mentions a few companies/games…

    With a population of under 50 million, South Korea has been
    the largest market for PC online games since the turn of the century. Usage in South Korea was mainly done on pay-per-use basis in publicly located Internet Cafes. However, over the past few years South Korea’s broadband penetration has exploded and this has
    resulted in increased home usage for online PC games.

    In 2007, China passed South Korea as the largest PC online game market. Like Korea, China games have been played on a pay-peruse basis in Internet Cafes. China is far behind South Korea and the Western world in terms of broadband penetration, but, with a population of 1.3 billion, the sheer number of potential consumers make China the fastest growing market in the world.

    The China and South Korean market are dominated by domestic players. However, these markets are very important because 1) they show the potential for other emerging markets and 2) they show how profi table a company can become when a game becomes a service oriented product.

    Traditional publishers did not release products into China because piracy of digital media is so rampant. Therefore, the only way to build a legitimate business was to operate products as an ongoing service done on a pay-per-use basis. Not only did this build the industry, but it has allowed companies to operate games for years. Products like Lineage/Lineage II from NCsoft, Fantasy Westward Journey from Netease and Shanda’s Legend of Mir/World of Legend games have been around for over 5 years and are still generating revenue of over $100 million a year at very high profi t margins.

    The other big boom area in China and South Korea is games that are free-to-play but generate revenue by upselling virtual items. This is a new model that is only enabled by online broadband connections. Products like Nexon’s Maplestory and Kart Rider are free but generating hundreds of millions of dollars in virtual item sales. Once again this is a trend that is coming to both emerging markets and established markets like North America and Europe.

    Investors are clearly reacting to the new business models being pioneered in China and South Korea. In general 2008 was a terrible year for all stocks. Game companies were no exception. However, both NCsoft (Korea) and Netease (China) were among the few stocks to show an increase in 2008. Meanwhile Shanda Entertainment (China) showed only a slight decline.

  3. TheArmyOfNone says:

    Excellent article, thank you very much! :)

  4. TeeJay says:

    And here’s something from the Develop conference:

    Western devs ‘kissing goodbye’ to Asian opportunities, warns Perry Perry (co-founder of Gaikai and Shiny Entertainment):
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/western-devs-kissing-goodbye-to-asian-opportunities-warns-perry

    I found the link via this blog:
    Mmotaku http://www.everyjoe.com/mmotaku/

  5. Tei says:

    China is paying (buying) the USA debt using dollars. China is monstruosly rich (you can buy… two Americas). The people, not soo much. Think third world. Note to self: Remove this line on the final version of my post.

    On the other part, is a asia country, and we are westerners. Sure, we can get a flight, and get there in 6 hours. But not really get there. We will be there, but not “get it”. We don’t “get it” because is a different culture.

    A different culture produce different games, and need different games. I don’t expect the next Baldurs Gate to come from china. The other way around, I don’t expect the next Baldurs Gate to be popular in china.

    *cue to horror tales about bussines in china / latest problems for Blizzard in china*

    So.. is not useful to me that there are 99000 gazillion china gamers, cause these people can’t buy my games, and I can’t buy his games. Are two separated worlds.

    Politics!. The way I see china, … honestly, I can’t talk. Dishonestly, the people here like’s the system. You get some support for a dictatorial system on any country, because people likes Tiranos (the greek word for freedom fighter). But on china you get 2 extra bonus to these support: religion and culture. These two things enforce the support for a centralized omnipotent power. This is somewhat dishonest, because I don’t really know china…

    I don’t see the existence of china as a important contribution to the gaming world. Other than cheap work force (modelling/skinning in china). Even If become a good contribution, will be something assia related. Not the next Baldurs Gate.

  6. Crispy says:

    Good article, but some sources and contextual references would have given it more depth. The article would be better if it gave something more than just statistics for what is already known (gold farming, internet censorship, MMO fans, piracy,) E.g. this section:

    The latest official figures China say that of the 298 million people who regularly use the internet in China, a massive 62.8% play games on it. That’s 187 million people playing everything from subs-based MMOs to browser-based puzzle games.

    That’s a huge market. And, as with all huge markets, it has the power to generate a lot of money. Time for more numbers: hold onto your maths textbook firmly. It was recently revealed that online gaming in China generated $2.75 billion in revenue in 2008 with 77% originating with MMOs and the remainder from casual games. According to analysts, this is only the tip of the cash-berg: by 2013 the industry is expected to generate $8.9 billion. China Daily reported that the money generated in 2008 from the games industry was more than the combined revenues of the film, television and audio-visual industries.

    - Where does the 62.8% figure come from? Is it a national or independant statistic?

    - How does the $2.75 billion in revenue in 2008 compare with the other leading nations internationally? Are we supposed to understand that China still has a long way to go or is neck-and-neck in terms of revenue or are already surpassing their national counterparts?

    - Some examples of the types of games Chinese people play would have been good. E.g. are they fantasy MMOs or futuristic? Are they Eastern-made or Western-targeted games that are also massively popular in China? It seems from the QQ Games example that they are predominantly ‘in-house’ Eastern games, but the article doesn’t make this absolutely clear.

    - How much is “several billion yuan” in real money?

    The reason I ask is because I’m wondering if China is ever going to be producing games that can stand up to international acclaim or if they are going to be soulless MMO grinders and shallow casual-em-ups. I suspect China would be a lucrative market for bigger companies, and I seem to remember certain large producers have already started buying up and merging with companies in that part of the world to get in on the act.

  7. antonymous says:

    Why would a british/english person who already is under total CCTV, internet and neighbourhood surveillance take stabs at China?

    Fix your own country’s problems, man. At least China does not lead any colonial wars.

  8. Crispy says:

    Ahem, like some of the comments and articles listed above.

  9. Ginger Yellow says:

    Nice article. The short bit on China in Jim’s book was fascinating, and I was disappointed it didn’t receive more in-depth coverage.

  10. LionsPhil says:

    Er. I don’t dispute that China has poorer areas, but it’s not a third-world country. Try going to Beijing some time, and check out the skyline—it’s developed urban sprawl as far as the eye can see (and significantly less grimy than your average British city). Here’s a view from a random street; unfortunately I never snapped one from the taxi while travelling the flyovers, because once you get a bit of height the view is amazing.

    The real kicker was the British airport security was more intrusive than Chinese, so watch where you people point the finger of infringements on personal freedom. There’s a reason Privacy International puts us barely above them.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    (Citation for that last point. Wikipedia have formatted it nicely; primary sources in footnotes.)

  12. Anon says:

    you can actually uninstall green dam, and it doesn’t come with 64bit OSes

  13. Chris Evans says:

    You can uninstall it? And it doesn’t come with 64-bits? If true that is a big blunder from the Chinese government. Do you have a source for this?

    @Crispy – I used a whole load of links/sources in this article, I think you can forgive me if I accidentally left one out :) Those figures you mentioned are taken from the CNNIC reports – http://www.cnnic.cn/en/index/

  14. zipdrive says:

    Very interesting. Lots of opportunities to make money in China if you don’t care to look too deeply into ethics…

  15. LionsPhil says:

    @Chris: Five minutes on Wikipedia: “End users, however, are not under mandate to run the software.” “…users…would have the option of unblocking sites and uninstalling the software.” (Cited.)

    This isn’t how you manage Internet censorship for political reasons—that’s something the Great Firewall is better aimed at. This appears to be their governmental overprotection stepping in and making sure everyone has a porn filter unless they opt-out.

    Sinister conspiracy theories that the uninstall process summons the Secret Police to come stamp on your throat in three, two, one…

  16. Paxeh says:

    @ Crispy – would you require a twelve page reference guide?

    I missed you on hl2.net

  17. Clockwork Harlequin says:

    Antonymous. Hey, there’s government surveillance all over the place. But there’s a lot to be said for (reasonable) freedom of speech, a lack of torture and capital punishment for religious dissenters, and immunity to ‘disappearance’. We’re kind of lucky, that way.

    Anyway, recognizing oppression isn’t necessarily “taking stabs at” another culture.

  18. Chris Evans says:

    @LionsPhil aia Wikipedia from the Guardian

    Secret documents published online and investigations by hackers have revealed an embedded blacklist of politically sensitive words in the program, a hole in the system that potentially allows remote users to take control of an individual’s computer and a defective pornography algorithm.”

    So yeah, whilst the military backed developer Jinhui may say that the software is uninstallable, it is clear that the Green Dam project is more than just an internet filter.

    Also according to Ming Pao, 28th June, 2009 (Wiki link to section) the current software filter contains about 85% political keywords, and only 15% pornography-related keywords

    Damn I hate using Wiki as a source, goes against all the academic principles instilled in me over the past three years of uni!

  19. Clockwork Harlequin says:

    Chris: Me too! But it works. . .

  20. Gap Gen says:

    Chris: Why? Wikipedia has reasonable editorial standards, and should be referenced. Sure, it’s not an academic journal, but then Wikipedia is probably a better source than most newspapers.

  21. Tei says:

    The fun thing about “green dam”, is that it is counterfeight software. It include a stolen database from software babysiter program. And reversed engineered dlls.

    If you think piracy is bad, wait for the “reusing lords” of china.

    I have had a discussion about this with friends. My friend say that china will have a evolution like japan. Than japan started cloning western hardware.
    I have here 20 graphics cards from china. The installer of these graphics cards launch another installer, crack it on the fly, and finish installing. This graphics cards come pre-cracked from the factory.
    I think the japan style was to make something of his own, with his view. China style seems to “steal ready made parts” from other people, to save dev’s cost.
    Of course, I could still be wrong. I feel somewhat dishonest talking about china. I don’t really know the country or the people… too far from here.

  22. LionsPhil says:

    Chris: That’s why I check citations. ;) I had just changed that last one to [citation needed] precisely because the citation was “person, $date”. Yeah…going to need something more strenuous for a claim like that.

    But, yeah, fair enough. I guess they’re trying for defence-in-depth if they can get it. I’d still suspect that this started primarily as “PROTECT TEH CHILDRENS” and then got political machinations tacked on the end, rather than vica-versa, in much the same way that Cleanfeed has started out as anti-child-porn, but has much the same capability as the Great Firewall.

    (The argument for Wikipedia put forward by one of the fellow academics here is that pretty much the whole Internet is a mess of questionable sources—at least WP is the one with many eyes, so you have a chance of getting all the biased sides smushed together. It’s never going to be an academic-quality reference, but it’s the best of a bad bunch for Internet discussions.)

  23. Clockwork Harlequin says:

    Gap Gen: In academia, all information must be attributed to another source, so that your source can be read, trashed, and your argument scattered to the winds. Wikipedia pages change and their authors are not necessarily known.

    Example: “Coral Island is a story” p10, An Introduction to Political Philosophy, J Wolff, Oxford University Press 1996.

  24. LionsPhil says:

    Hah, just reached the “Defects and software issues” section—what a hack job. Yay government IT projects.

  25. LionsPhil says:

    Harlequin: Don’t forget that being cited is the one speck of happyness afforded to academics amongst their lives of writing things and then paying to get them back.

    Just as to get back to something in the article—”You think your issues with DRM are bad? Imagine if your PCs came with it pre-installed.” Er. This is what Windows Genuine Advantage is. It’s preinstalled from Vista onwards. Do you want to guess why? Here is a quote from Gates:

    About 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don’t pay for the software. Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

  26. TeeJay says:

    Out of curiousity I have been trying to find out about some of these popular Chinese games, for example the most popular online games at the moment (in terms of peak peak concurrent users):

    Fantasy Westward Journey (Netease) 2.3 million peak concurrent users and 230 million registered gamers
    http://www.jlmpacificepoch.com/newsstories?id=151957_0_5_0_M

    Zhengtu Online (Giant) 1.6 million PCU
    An eye-opening account translated into English: “Gamble your life away in ZT Online” (Zhengtu) http://www.danwei.org/electronic_games/gambling_your_life_away_in_zt.php

    Dungeon and Fighter (Tencent) 1.8 million PCU
    A 2d side-scrolling beat-em-up: http://www.everyjoe.com/mmotaku/dungeon-and-fighter-side-scrolling-fun/

    World of Warcraft (Blizzard) 1 million PCU (although apparently the Chinese government is objecting to the skeletons and Death Knights in “Wrath of the Lich King” and is also possibly going to block Blizzard’s new contract/joint venture)

    I’m not sure if I am any the wiser about what these games are actually like to play! :D

  27. Caspar says:

    Good article in general.

    The problem with covering China based on sources (especially in English), there is a huge disparity between theory and reality and everything involving government is extremely messy and complicated. The whole MMO licensing is a very complex topic, one of the key issues is for example the taxation of revenue generated by MMOs. The question is which government authorities can get a share, there is no clear regulation which department is responsible for what, but they start to realise that MMO’s is where the money’s at.

    That led for a completely messed up situation for Blizzard around the transition away from the9 and to Netease, still not resolved now. The solution for gamers: they play on Taiwanese servers, no language barrier, and they get WOTLK right away. It’s no coincidence that Stars scored the world first for Yogg-Saron with zero keepers just recently.

    If you’re interested in gaming and China, danwei.org (already cited above) may be a a good place to start, but if you really mean it you’d have to speak the language and join a couple of guilds here probably across several MMOs just to cover the MMO scene. =)

  28. P7uen says:

    o noes teh yellow peril!

    I agree with whatever bloke it was above wot said every country does more than its fair share of this putrid stuff, so go easy on the China bashing.

    Also, I then agree with that bloke wot said you bought into the Green Dam story without much of an in depth look.

    Then I agree with that bloke what said there was too many statistics haphazardly thrown around.

    Then I tried to think of my own opinions but couldn’t.

    Regardless, an interesting read despite the above. I love RPS for these thought-provoking articles and I love the people wot comments on them.

  29. Gap Gen says:

    Clockwork Harlequin: Yeah, I know, I’m an astrophysicist. Wikipedia does maintain a history of all articles and does very well considering its openness. I maintain that it is a more controlled source than many newspapers, most of which feel they can print whatever bullshit they like at times. I cite the MMR controversy in the UK, which tainted nearly all British newspapers in some form.

  30. Tei says:

    @Gap Gen: Some wiki philosophy: Wikis are not about perfections, but incremental enhancements. In a moment “t”, any wiki page is X% wrong Y% right. On the infinite, is 100% correct (reads: Is never perfect). This fit with the concept of japan beaty concept of Wabi Sabi.
    Wen you see a error on a wiki, you click the edit button, fix it, and saves it. You could be adding new errors, that will be fixed by the next guy. All Wiki pages are “Work In Progress”, even if are not marked like that.

    Is not the job of a wiki to work with “truism”. The job of a wiki page is about what we think now about a topic. And now is different every time you checked it, so the page may “move” as you read it.

    To my knowment, only religions are about the Final Truth [tm]

  31. EGTF says:

    @Gap Gen – Simply put then, Papers are made more to sell than to inform.

    Nice article Chris, good reading. Maybe we should try and get them all addicted on Opium again and start a war if they refuse.

    (Seeming as we have commentators like antonymous on here I have to point out that that last part was merely jest. I don’t think British Colonial history is any less evil than other nations’ history, just better documented. And though it wasn’t right, some good did come out of it. Moreso than say, U.S. exploitation of South America or Japan against China or Ghengis Khan against China even. When I can rummage around and find damning history of our nations past and governmental failings, as well as the freedom to critque modern ones then I feel I live in a more open society.

    Damn, got carried away with myself there. My apologies.)

  32. Smurfy says:

    Actually, China illegalised gold farming recently.

  33. Tei says:

    Nope, haven’t illegalised gold farming. What was illegalised what some weird fictitious gold / real gold, that some mafias use to evade money transfers.

  34. JonFitt says:

    The subs based or micro transaction MMOs are how you work around game piracy in China.
    You don’t charge for the game code, you charge for access to the online space, or persistence, which can be controlled and charged for.
    Relic are modifying CoH to work in this way too.

    It doesn’t work with single player only experiences though, you need something that compels people to want to be connected aside from a DRM lock.

  35. MrBejeebus says:

    whats the point in that Green Dam software, if its allowed to be uninstalled?

    My understanding of China is just that it is a completely different games market and I would hate to live there, sure it may have a vibrant history and fascinating culture, but I completely dissagree with the government etc.

    Although the UK isn’t much better…

  36. Biz says:

    they care about censorship a lot but they don’t respect copyright laws.

    i’ve seen evony (steals assets from aoe2) and other stuff that steals assets from WoW

  37. Ennui says:

    Well done Chris, and congrats on getting a guest post up on RPS my man :)

  38. Clockwork Harlequin says:

    Gap Gen: Heh. Good point about the newspapers. Hope I didn’t sound condescending, I see these limits as an unfair way to keep knowledge ‘elite’.

  39. Dagda says:

    Wait, ZERO HOUR? The expansion that, unlike the original game, had the US getting their ass thrashed by the GLA so that China got a chance to move in and finish the game as the new world superpower?

  40. Dreamhacker says:

    Tei, you seem to have much insight on this subject. Where are you from?

  41. Crispy says:

    @ Paxeh:
    A recent poll shows that 99.3% of internet readers prefer to know the origins of statistics to qualify their degrees of fact and bias…

  42. The Sombrero Kid says:

    china is comprable to the EU in scale, thier top level government similarly effective, they have less political freedom, but personal freedoms outstrip the west particularly America, this can be seen at the extreme end of the personal freedom scale, prison, 2% of Americans enjoy the luxury of a prison sentence compared with 0.1% of Britons, compared with 0.05% of Chinese.

  43. Tei says:

    @Dreamhacker: Why? I just read good blogs.

    Re “Future China games”

    The only one I am looking forward to is Welkin 4591. Somewhat like a spiritual succesor to Planetside.
    http://4591.outpop.com/

  44. BaconIsGood4You says:

    Great article!

    I wonder how the population takes all this control? How can the Chinese government possible fight the internet? And will ideals of liberty, democracy, and individualism (all key aspects of the net) start to seep into Chinese culture?