No virtual pandas in China?

According to a post on MMO Champions, the next WoW expansion could be called “Mists of Pandaria”.

For those who don’t know, there’s the Pandaren Brewmaster in Warcraft III. So players have been curious about their possible implementation in WoW. I’d read different reasons for why they cannot be implemented and decided to hunt them down now.

1) Pandaren are Chinese but wear Japanese armour which insults China.
– There’s some truth there. WoWWiki has a detailed entry about Pandaren which also mentions the confused armour: “[…] in WC3 beta, pandaren wore samurai armor, but this was soon fixed.” You can see the two versions here.

2) China doesn’t allow the depiction (and killing) of virtual pandas.
– I don’t think that’s true. Somebody on MMO Champion mentioned “Perfect World” which apparently has Pandas. I tried to verify that but failed – until I realised that “Perfect World” as we know it in Europe and the USA is apparently “Perfect World II” in Asian countries. I looked for “Perfect World” in China then and was more successful: Here is a picture (the website is Japanese but still… panda!). Or look at this video of a panda race. Since the developers are Chinese, I doubt there’s a law that prohibits Blizzard from implementing Pandaren.

So all in all: Why not? The WoWWiki page also mentions that they have previously hinted at maybe implementing them – or at least, they didn’t say they wouldn’t. ;) On the other hand, they have also said that there are legal issues with China.

I’m curious now but doubt that we’ll hear anything about it until Blizzcon which will take place in October. Although we might get some rumours that turn out to be true just like we did before they showed us the Cataclysm expansion. ;)


    1. Thank you! It doesn’t list a source, unfortunately.

      I did find this, however:

      – China used to ban depictions of human skeletons, so many Magic: The Gathering cards had their art altered for release there. In 2008, however, this ban was lifted.

      – A persistent Urban Legend says that Warcraft’s famed “Pandaren” characters won’t make an appearance in World of Warcraft because it’s illegal to put pandas in danger in China. This may also be due to the Pandaren, in their original form, being China’s national animal with an obviously Samurai (and therefore Japanese) style of dress and fighting – akin to a Chinese game showing all-Americans covered in Maple Leaves, eh? (In fact, there is currently nothing in China’s legal system that mentions pandas in any way, other than the usual conservation measures for endangered species).

      So, again, there’s Westerners saying they had legal issues (from the GW wiki and also from WoWWiki) and on the other hand, apparently no law about it. Confusing.


      1. pretty interesting. perhaps the confusion comes from just how corrupt and at odds much of the chinese government is. for instance the wow expansions have been banned by one ministry while another says its okay, causing delays in the release of… i think ti was… wrath of the lich king?

        Anyway. good research.


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