Diablo 3 sneaks on to Taobao
The spoilsports at Blizzard have been holding off the official Chinese launch of Diablo 3, leaving many a frustrated gamer in their wake. Actually it might not be Blizzard’s fault at all, as the product has yet to be passed as “suitable” by the Chinese Ministry of Culture, though we can’t think of any reason that they’d withhold such permission.
Taobao however, are on strict instructions to make such products disappear from sale. After all if it’s not yet legal to sell something in China, it’s not a great idea for one of the largest online stores in the world to be pushing them. This hasn’t stopped cunning vendors from sneaking around the culling of Diablo 3 listings.
One of the things many folks from outside China don’t know is that Chinese is extremely flexible when it comes to “sound alike” words. In fact puns, are one of the main sources of Chinese humor. This has led to the current situation of a $60 pineapple. “Dark God of Destruction” – the official name for the game in China is banned, but da boluo (pineapple) which sounds quite a lot like “Diablo” isn’t.
So unless there’s been a dramatic breakthrough in fruit and internet connections, we can assume that the $60 official version of the pineapple that works with all languages and has Asian server support – is probably Diablo 3 instead.