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StarCraft 2 Welcome in South Korea, Banned in China

China’s ChinaJoy 2009 event on July 23rd was among the lucky few to have been chosen by Blizzard to host a public presentation as well as to make openly available the currently playable version of StarCraft 2. Blizzard’s participation in this event was scheduled to predate the massively successful presentation on the following day in South Korea.

Unfortunately, StarCraft 2 was banned from public play due to a recent ruling by China’s State Bureau Of Culture, which declared that “Starcraft 2 is much too bloody, which will severely affect the mental as well as physical health of adolescents” (translation courtesy of TeamLiquid).  The decision draws from a regulatory note, released on July 1st, 2009, which stated that

Any activity related to foreign games, including their showing, demonstrating, trading and marketing promotion, shall also abide by the censorship laws aiming at imported online games and shall be subject to censorship and approval by the State Administration of News and Press. All promoters, sponsors, and companies related shall held their respective legal responsibilities.

The StarCraft 2 South Korean E-Stars Seoul 2009 event, however, was a great success, and some media has been released both officially and by fans. You can find the official extensive media gallery here.

E Stars Seoul Credit - SC Legacy

Two decent-quality gameplay videos have been released during the event, showing a short and intensive Protoss vs. Terran match:

The video is another example of just how fast paced and merciless StarCraft 2 multiplayer is designed to be, as mentioned repeatedly by the design team in various interviews. One on one games are not supposed to last more than 20 minutes (if that!), as the game provides players with sufficient tools to exploit the opponent’s mistakes and leverage them, along with the player’s own skills, into quick victories.

While fans and gamers around the world marvel at every released detail, battle report or gameplay video, the stock market is not as patient and forgiving towards Blizzard’s developmental practices, and analysts blame the recent stock dive on the realization that StarCraft 2 will not be coming out in 2009.


Now, there is a growing concern that an even bigger game — “StarCraft 2” — may be pushed out of this year, due to development delays.

“The beta testing for ‘StarCraft’ hasn’t started yet. If it starts in August and takes 5-6 months, then launching the game this year is next to impossible,” said Jess Lubert, video game analyst with Brean Murray.

While it doesn’t take a genius mutant ninja analyst to figure out that the StarCraft 2 beta is highly unlikely to be over by the end of 2009, it does take some history knowledge to understand that virtually all of Blizzard’s titles end up being played for many years, each serving as a benchmark and a poster child for their respective niche; that is to say, there is no doubt that when it is released, it will generate considerable revenue for Activision-Blizzard.

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23 Comments to “StarCraft 2 Welcome in South Korea, Banned in China”

  1. Anonymous — July 29, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    Unfortunately, that news article is only acknowledging what a lot of people are already guessing – StarCraft 2 coming out in 2009 is starting to look somewhat unlikely. It’s been said in the past that beta will be 4-6 months, so we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up too much, and instead be glad that when the game actually is released it will be a finished product and not beta test stage 2.

    Craft II asylum

  2. Chef — July 29, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    poor china

  3. Joe — July 30, 2009 @ 5:15 am

    Looks more ‘zoomed in’ than I remember from previous videos – now the view is more like the original sc, I think. I like :)

  4. ErkZ — July 30, 2009 @ 8:17 am

    I wonder what that fancy little spinning zoom in was. It makes me feel like it’s a set thing and you won’t be able to rotate and zoom freely like you can in WC3.

  5. Tazz — July 30, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    Wow communism strikes again, I see mass movement from China to S Korea to play competitive SC2

  6. FdS — July 31, 2009 @ 2:26 am

    Just to say that some Portuguese Stores (Game stage) have now a pre-release reserve of the game and that is schedule to be 27/9/2009 as Diablo 3! In the online site the date is october

    I think that very strange and impossible to make deadline.

  7. xamian — July 31, 2009 @ 10:40 am

    Just launch the stupid game already. How many patches have we had to endure with the original starcraft, do you think that delaying the launch till 2010 will really stop the necessity to release the occasional patch? So Blizzard, stop being a bunch of drama queens and launch the stupid game this year dammit!!!

  8. SikTh — July 31, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

    There will still be plenty of patches in the future of SC2, don’t worry.

    A big patch for Dawn of War 2 with new content and balance updates was just released, though. I’m gonna go play that.

  9. Mercutio — July 31, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

    Hmm, more gameplay.

    And gameplay between two people who obviously weren’t pros who play at a level closer to what I and my friends do.

    Kneejerk reaction; the Protoss player didn’t have the APM and fine control necessary to exploit their full potential, and I want to see more Terran infantry backed up by medevacs, because that combo just seems astoundingly deadly, especially supported by siege tanks. This game seems to comport to Blizzards current in-house contention that the Terrans are the strongest faction at the moment.

  10. George — August 1, 2009 @ 4:48 am

    the M&M look very strong and massable. Seems like they would really dominate the Protoss without requiring much skill from the Terran player.

    Of course, this is based completely on a few minutes of blurry gameplay.

  11. Mercutio — August 1, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

    Well, until the thrice-damned beta comes out (at which point we’ll have more video than we could ever possibly watch and can finally do some REAL gameplay analysis) all we really have to go on are the battlereports and blurry gameplay shots.

  12. martix — August 3, 2009 @ 10:29 am

    Well of course it isn’t going to come out. An objective look at all the clues recently should have easily yielded that conclusion. People should have realized by now that the whole commotion recently wasn’t an upcoming beta, but probably a publicity stunt to keep interest high.
    As for me, I expect the game somewhere Q2 2010(being optimistic, I’d say April). Unless of course some unforeseen event happens to come along and push it back further.

    But that’s just me…

  13. The Lost Firebat — August 3, 2009 @ 11:48 am

    No way, man. They’re going to announce the beta in Blizzcon! This year’s Blizzcon!

  14. Mercutio — August 3, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

    I will note (just throwing it out there) that back in the first half of the decade, Blizzard had a long tradition of summer releases; Diablo II and its expansion in the summers of 2000 and 2001 respectively, and then WCIII and ITS expansion in the summers of 2002 and 2003.

    So, you know. For whatever that piece of trivia is worth.

    This was, of course, back in the days when Blizzard produced a game of some sort nearly every year and typically didn’t announce projects more than eighteen months out; if anyone recalls, they didn’t pull the trigger on WoW until the summer of 2003, about fifteen months before it was on shelves. I recall WCIII getting a similar treatment.

    SCII is getting, what, three years between announcement and release? And the way things are shaping up Diablo III will be the biggest game of 2012.

  15. WolfStar — August 5, 2009 @ 7:13 am

    I swear if Blizzard don’t release SC2 this year I am going to fly over to America, borrow some old guys automatic weapon and go on a shooting spree through Blizzard head-quarters before my head explodes thanks to excessive hype!

    You’ve had 11 years already FFS!!!!!!!!!


  16. ErkZ — August 6, 2009 @ 6:59 am


    Blizz admits they don’t expect it to come out until sometime during the first half of 2010.

  17. Anubis — August 10, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    What a load, China just doesn’t like the storyline concerning the fight against an oppressive regime, hits too close to home for them. I sure they don’t like the “Wings of Liberty” title either.

  18. Starcraft Build Order Tester — June 12, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    Aren’t some pro gamers Chinese though. I’m pretty sure one made a build order tester and another won some tournament.

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