If Something Looks Too Good to be True…

Here is another very interesting article, in which the author argues that the US beef and baseball scandals are just covers for ECFA.  I think this is indeed a possibility.  Using the greed of others to their advantages seem to be a usual trick of KMT and CCP.  Therefore, it would be wise to keep an eye on the ECFA as well.

Two interesting news coming out recently are related to game industries and China.  Interestingly the news come from different places but there are similarities: both are lured by China’s “big” market but lost big time in China.  I will write about them separately in the following:

Taiwanese Game Industries’ Waterloo in China

First news is from Taiwan.  It talks about although Chinese market looks attractive, entering it is actually a lot of trouble and quite risky.  Furthermore Chinese basically seems to “use” foreign companies to start things up and then just kick them out, which is basically the case for Softworld.  It interview several game industries veterans in Taiwan, including chairman of Softworld, on this matter so there are definitely some valid points and facts.  Last paragraph is particular interesting.  It talks about how much mony Softstar and 遊戲橘子also lost big monies in China.  (Softstar lost 3,320,000 NTD in 2005 and 1,000,000 NTD in 2006).  Company such as 華義 also lost considerable talets and knowledge to Chinese company 盛大 and 騰訊 in 2005.  In this case, it’s not just the training cost that is wasted, but the knowledge, trade secret and know how are all lost to the competitors.  Nice going, 華義.  Idiots.

No wonder I haven’t seen any good games coming out from those companies for a long time.  I was wondering WTF are they doing.  Now I understand.  I just hope Taiwan’s game industries can stay alive, and let someone else who is more capable than those morons to take over.  Because I like Taiwanese games, and I know there are a lot of talented software developers and artists in Taiwan.

Activision Blizzard’s WoW is no Longer Active in China

The second news is also very interesting.  This one is from the US of A.  The company, Activision Blizzard is one of the largest game publisher in the world, rivaling EA.  Their world-famous franchises include Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo, Guitar Heroes and Call of Duty.  This is not a small chicken, yet even it got screwed by Chinese.  lol

Although I am not a World of Warcraft fans I sort of follow its progress into the East Asia because I paid attention to the game industries news in general.  Before Blizzard is acquired by Activision, the company starts to expand its Massive Multiplayer online game to the east asia market.  Actually, Blizzard was very cautious and tentative to their expansion.  It actually first setup the service in Taiwan in cooperation with a local Taiwanese company because it wants to see how the product do in a Mandarin speaking market.  In another word, they think because Taiwan and China speak the same language and have some cultural linkage, they can test the water with Taiwan.  The game is quite successful in Taiwan.  Unfortunately, as can be seen later, their assumptions turn out to be a mistake, or at least an over estimation.

The first major news, and one of the most bazaar news that indicate Activision Blizzard’s difficulty to operate WoW in China came out a few years ago.  Basically, Blizzard has to remove all the undead skeleton soldiers from the Chinese version of the game.  Why?  Because apparently, in China, you cannot show skeleton in any game.  Now that is just a very bazaar regulation.  In any case, Blizzard actually has to spend extra money to do this (no idea how much).

After that, however, it is no smooth sailing neither.  The game went into an online and offline cycle.  The detail reasons of the suspensions of their services etc is unknown to me.  However, it just seems that the Chinese government does not like the game to operate in China, and continuously make the life of Blizzard difficult.  And that brings us to this point, when Activision Blizzard finally decide to shut it down for good, but not without some major damage and lost investment in this long years of fiasco.

Update: Some more news on this.  Actually I made a mistake.  It’s not blizzard who is shutting it down but one of the Chinese agency.  But now the conflict between Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Chinese General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) intensify.  The fate of the game is still unknown.

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So yes…if something looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

To wrap this log up, this piece from Taipei Times has an interesting theory.  Again, the question of where is Taiwan going is always in the back of my mind.  Sure, I imagine most people wants Taiwan to continually prosper and improve, but how to do so depends whom you speak to.  My gut feelings tells me that the author of the article is correct.

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