China's NetEase says government approves 'World of Warcraft' expansion

SHANGHAI Wed Sep 5, 2012 4:53am EDT

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese online games firm NetEase Inc has received government approval to launch the latest version of Activision Blizzard Inc's hit "World of Warcraft" in China, it said on Wednesday.

World of Warcraft, a hugely popular multiplayer role-playing game, is the most stable source of revenue for both NetEase and publisher Activision Blizzard.

The title's next expansion pack, "World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria," will be released on September 25 in the United States.

The Chinese Ministry of Culture's online games content review website showed the latest sequel to World of Warcraft had received approval on Wednesday. (here)

NetEase spokesman Liu Youcai confirmed the approval, but said he could not comment on the game's release date in China.

China is the world's largest Internet market with 540 million users. About 60 percent of all Internet users play online games making it a highly lucrative industry. NetEase competes with Tencent Holdings, Shanda Games and Changyou.com in China.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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