With just a few weeks left until the global release of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, some may have pondered whether or not the Chinese government would approve of the franchise's latest expansion. Despite the game's notoriously large following in China, it was almost shut down on a number of occasions due to government regulations. Expansions haven't gone too well in the past either.
In 2007, just before the release of the franchise's first expansion, the Chinese General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) shut down World of Warcraft due to conflicts with the Chinese company responsible for its localization, NetEase. Luckily for Blizzard, the game was brought back up six weeks later after some censorship was done.
The next expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, was delayed in China for two whole years. The current expansion released in December 2010, Cataclysm, also experienced heavy delays and wasn't released until July of this year. But surprisingly enough, the government has officially green-lit the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion.
Though no specific date was given, the early approval means Chinese gamers probably won't have to wait a whole two years to get their fix of the panda-packed expansion.
Even if a game did get banned, the pirates aren't going to give a crap, they're going the copy and distributed (freely or at a price) those software.