Great Blocky Wall: Minecraft To Launch In China

Minecraft is headed to China, after having struck a deal with local distribute NetEase. The official announcement post notes, “It probably won’t affect most of you, seeing as you’re probably not based in China.” Which is true also of readers of RPS, but Pip was over there recently for the LoL MSI finals and the site wasn’t entirely blocked so it’s possible this is relevant to at least a few of you.

“NetEase understand our long-term vision for Minecraft and support Mojang’s ideals, so we’re delighted to have them on board. We look forward to welcoming China’s builders and adventurers to the world of Minecraft,” says Jonas Martensson in a post on the Minecraft blog. That’s a bit dry though so you might want to watch the short announcement video they made instead:

If you’re unaware, China won’t let foreign companies release their games to the Chinese market unless they go through a local company. That’s why Mojang need to team up with NetEase in this instance.

Minecraft’s last update was version 1.9, which revised the combat mechanics so that they were less determined by how fast you could click. The process for how they did that while keeping it accessible is interesting. Though perhaps not as interesting as that the next update, currently available for testing, has polar bears.

Disclosure: the video above stars Owen Hill, who I used to work with at PC Gamer. He’s lovely. Hi Owen! Say hello to Marsh for me.

Disclosure: Marsh Davies, wot used to write for RPS and make videos of stuff, now works at Mojang with Owen. Hi Marsh! Say hello back to Owen.

Now kiss.


  1. Mi-24 says:

    Was not aware of that China games fact. Interesting.

  2. Herzog says:

    Then how come I buy games from Steam in China paying in RMB? Where is the Chinese middle company?

    Anyways, will move back to Germany after living in China for the last 3 1/2 years. One of the things I am looking most forward to : lightning fast Internet! Great firewall is a bitch!

  3. MrFinnishDude says:

    Soon someone will build something critical of the Chinese government in Minecraft and they will just ban it again.
    I don’t know, maybe they will understand that it is not the game’s fault that people can make things in it that the government doesn’t like, but I have read way too many stories of ridiculous bans that they have done in the past.

  4. Shuck says:

    Their sales are already in the region of 15000-per-hour, which is insane this long after release. Now they’re really going to explode. Microsoft’s investment is looking less insane.

    • brucethemoose says:

      $15000 per hour, or 15000 copies per hour? Either way, that’s mind boggling.

      What still amazes me is Java Minecraft’s development budget/revenue ratio. It’s basically maintained by a small indie dev team, yet the game still makes more money than God does… If Microsoft invested just 10% of that into development (or, hell, if they just open sourced it and let the massive community officially contribute), Minecraft would turn into something divine.

  5. Ent says:

    Chinese here.
    The way it works, to publish anything in China mainland, you can’t be a pure foreign company (same goes with movies, books, etc.). You’ll have to find a partner.
    But then we have steam and other online stores. It’s like mail ordering stuff from another country, they are not “published” in China, so no law against them. We regularly buy games on steam with RMB.
    Chinese government actually tried to crack down some games, I remembered they banned Hearts of Iron 2 (and probably the 3rd one),claiming “you can play Nazi/Japan and conquer the world, that’s reactionary”. I guess the real reason is because in the game Tibet is described as its own state. But personally I don’t think gov really pay much attention to video games. HOI is still played by many people here, and I don’t know anyone who actually get into trouble because of it.

    • Ent says:

      Oh, and there is already quite a fan base of MC in China here, but I guess many of them are playing pirated copies? I don’t have any numbers, but like a third of my friends know what I’m doing when I make the ssssssssssound.

    • DEspresso says:

      I thought it was more of a Nationalist China vs Communist China issue.

    • Carra says:

      Can’t play Paradox games? I remember that you can play Tibet in Victoria 2 (if you’re masochistic that is).

    • heretic says:

      Interesting, thank you for the explanation :)

  6. PikaBot says:

    I was just over in China teaching English. Every single goddamn one of my students played Minecraft, it felt like. Chinese distribution partner or no Chinese distribution partner, they all sure knew how to get it onto their phones and computers.