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Is Blizzard Panda-ring to Chinese Gamers with New WoW Expansion?

Is Blizzard Panda-ring to Chinese Gamers with New WoW Expansion?

| October 24, 2011


Blizzcon, the annual conference of mega game developer Blizzard, was this weekend, and one of the biggest pieces of news to come out of the weekend has left at least a few people scratching their heads.

Blizzard announced it would be releasing another expansion to their ultra-hit World of Warcraft. “Mists of Pandaria” doesn’t have a release date yet, but you can check out the official preview trailer below. See if you can figure out why I think this might be an expansion targeted specifically at China:

Yeah, maybe it was the pandas that clued me in. It might also have been the traditional Chinese architecture, the faux-Great Wall, or the traditional Chinese music playing in the background. Subtle, Blizzard. Very subtle.

Blizzard’s Western audience has, for the most part, been a bit baffled by this announcement, mostly because the “Pandaren” race first appeared in an April Fool’s joke advertisement for the Pandaren Xpress, a fake WoW Chinese food delivery service. But the joke sort of took off, and the Pandaren race was incorporated into the lore of the Warcraft universe, and now the fuzzy dudes are getting their own dedicated WoW expansion.

Chinese WoW players are certainly excited, and the official trailer has already been shared tens of thousands of times on Sina Weibo. “I’m really looking forward to it,” wrote one Weibo user, “World of Warcraft has finally come to China!”

“Happiness has finally come to Chinese WoW players,” wrote another.

Of course, there’s no official release date yet for “Mists of Pandaria,” and if previous expansions are any indication, Chinese WoW players may have to wait additional months or even years before the expansion is actually released in China.



  1. Arcane Mind

    One of the lead lore/character creators, and the current COO used to draw himself as a Pandaren; Pandaren Brewmasters go back to Warcraft III. Their previous status as a WC3 race is what made the April Fool’s Day joke an April Fool’s Day Joke. It’s less of an appeasement to chinese people than it is an appeasement to Warcraft fans who wanted Pandarens since Burning Crusade. The Chinese government doesn’t allow/like images of Pandas or anything panda-like getting killed – much like the delay in getting WotLK to China because of their sensitivity to ‘skulls’, gore, and things of that nature. This is more of a nod to this expansion never making it to China…

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