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December 7, 2009

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WoW! Auction coup for player

A NOTED World of WarCraft (WoW) player sold his account for 27,886 yuan (US$4,085) in an online auction last night, almost 30 times higher than the expected price.

He was not willing to wait for the launch of the latest update of the popular game on the Chinese mainland.

The deal and the high price showed the popularity of the game on the mainland, with more than 1 million players, and the negative influence of its delay as two government agencies battle for control, analysts said.

WoW player Cang Tiange sold his game account through Website in the auction that ended at 8:30pm and attracted 82 serious bidders.

Netizen Lucas88 bought the account for which Cang expected 1,000 yuan.

Cang is one of the four most well-known mainland WoW players, thanks to his self-designed funny video clips with WoW themes.

His works often receive 100,000 to 200,000 clicks within 24 hours after launch on domestic video Websites.

"I can't wait and I feel frustrated that players on China's mainland can't play the latest WoW game titles," said Cang.

The WoW game has been in jeopardy since Nasdaq-listed replaced The9 Ltd as its operator on the mainland in July. The reason? Two Chinese government bureaus claimed they had rights to review and approve WoW.

Last month, the General Administration of Press and Publications said it would halt the approval process for WoW, giving the game an uncertain future on the mainland, especially its latest expansion package.

The Ministry of Culture, however, said the GAPP doesn't have the right to review the game and that the ministry is still making inquiries.

NetEase, which operates WoW's first expansion The Burning Crusade (TBC), said it was still communicating with government bureaus.

The company can't provide a kick-off date for the latest package, the Wrath of the Lich King (WLK), which is already available in overseas markets.

Many Chinese mainland players have flooded Taiwan's game servers to play the new package, despite slow servers.



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