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World of Warcraft is set to go offline in China in two week, but Tencent game has another MMORPG that will open to testers this month.
Tencent Reveals New MMO Tarisland
As some of the Blizzard fans have probably noticed, Blizzard is ending a 14-year licensing partnership with China NetEase. The implication is that certain Blizzard games, including World of Warcraft, will no longer be available in China at end of license with NetEase on January 23, 2023. In addition, even if Blizzard can find the next licensing partner very soon, Blizzard and its licensing partner would still have to obtain a new license from the Chinese National Press and Publication Administration before they can start to serve the games in China again, which might take a very long time.
World of Warcraft has the most players and fans in China. Many players, including myself, don’t want to see Blizzard and World of Warcraft go. Today, I watched a new MMORPG game preview on Bilibili from China Tencent and found it extremely similar to World of Warcraft. The new game is TarisLand, cross-platformly available on both PC and mobile. Given these two games are so close visually, I think it is possible that many Chinese World of Warcraft players would at least try playing TarisLand after World of Warcraft becomes unavailable. If World of Warcraft becomes permanently unavailable in China, TarisLand might just become the Chinese World of Warcraft.
TarisLand Trailer First Look
From the game preview of TarisLand below, we could see that it has lots of elements from World of Warcraft.
The World of Warcraft players must be very familiar with the World Tree, Danathos, Ulduar, Skybreaker, Deathwing, Dalaran, Zangarmarsh, Nagrand, Dun Morogh, Murloc, Zeppelin in the game preview. We could also see World of Warcraft classes, such as Warrior, Mage, Hunter, Demon Hunter, World of Warcraft mounts and spells in TarisLand as well.
Is TarisLand Really a Clone of WoW?
As reported by Bloomberg, WoW is huge in China, and Tencent’s new MMO looks to be an attempt at filling the gap. But Tarisland isn’t the only game seeking to step into WoW’s place while Blizzard attempts to get it back up and running, as Lost Ark has also been approved to run in China.
It’s still unclear who Blizzard will partner with to relaunch games like Overwatch 2 and WoW, but the big contenders right now are Tencent, ByteDance Ltd., and Perfect World, who publish Valve games like Dota 2.
Until WoW is back, Chinese players can look forward to trying out Tarisland, which is set to accept new testers this week on PC and mobile. Not only does it look a lot like WoW, it even shares some of the same actors, so maybe we’ll get to hear this other Deathwing yell such iconic quote as, “I AM DEATHWING”. Either way, it looks to be familiar enough.
Tarisland Alpha & Beta Tests
There will be an Alpha test on January 12th, 2023.