NetEase.com has taken over online game, which will be unavailable until end-June. As previously scheduled, Shanghai-based online game company The9 Ltd. officially ceased operating World of Warcraft, or WoW, in China on Sunday (at three minutes past midnight, to be exact). Now, its NetEase.com Inc.'s turn to take over WoW in China. Except it's not quite ready.
On Saturday night, tens of thousands of Chinese WoW fans gathered online to witness the server shutdown. A new online bulletin board for WoW players, wowbbs.163.com, recorded peak traffic of 20,294 visitors within several hours of its launch that night, Chinese media reported. Chinese Web portal Sina.com featured a live broadcast of the closure process starting at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and The9 set up a countdown clock in the game 15 minutes before the closure, according to QQ.com (in Chinese). Meanwhile, players filled other online bulletin boards and forums to discuss the closure, with the QQ Games Forum receiving more than 10,000 WoW-related comments that night.