Perfect World confirms Chinese Dota2 server beta coming in March


At the Perfect World annual company party, it has been confirmed that the Chinese servers for Dota2 will debut in a limited beta fashion in March of this year.

Additionally, audio work is mostly complete, with only a small portion being in need of redoing… lastly, it was also mentioned that they are indeed making some compromises for the visual effects in order to more quickly get the game approved and ready to go live on servers.



Dota2 localization (somewhat predictably) meets further problems in China


After supposed issues with the voice work for Chinese Dota2 thus far, we have another, perhaps more predictable problem potentially on our hands…

After we entered 2013, rumors and leaks from various sources have all pointed towards a March debut of Perfect World Dota2 servers in China. And, two waves of beta codes sent out from Perfect World also hint at this.

However, now the longstanding practice of ‘harmonization’ of Western games for the Chinese market has now come to rest its shadow upon Dota2 in China — it has been revealed that, due to the game’s content being deemed overly violent and bloody, it has stalled in the Chinese censor approval process, and thus it remains uncertain whether this will delay the debut of Dota2 Chinese servers.

above: Steam chat suggesting that Skeleton King will be one to be ‘harmonized’, as his current model has no flesh, and thus violates the government’s ban of depicting skeletons in media

And in reality, there have been quite a few big-name Western games that met varying degrees of censorship after coming to China, such as the famous World of Warcraft changing its skeletons to much ‘meatier’ models, so here are our guesses for Dota2’s changes before it can go live in China:

1. Skeletons ‘harmonized’ — Skeleton King, Clinkz, etc
2. Names ‘harmonized’ — various hero names
3. Blood color changed — change the color of blood splashes, for example Phantom Assassin’s effect
4. Icons altered — seems like there are many places for this in Dota2

So if this news is true, then it looks like Dota2’s eventual debut in China may be a bumpy ride. And what will Dota2 look like after it undergoes these changes, will players still identify with it? We can only wait and see.

Dotaland note: Heroes such as Undying are unlikely to get through unscathed either, as zombies are also taboo territory. Online reactions from fans to all this have been overwhelmingly negative, with widespread criticism of this practice, which is by now standard in China, yet widely hated. Comments of “our taxes go to waste on such bullshit”, “harmonize my ass”, etc.

Dota2 localization hits a snag? HippoVic has some ‘choice’ words for Chinese voice work thus far…

Welp, ‘choice’ words indeed. In some profanity-laced posts online, HippoVic, a key member of the localization team for Dota2, long-time member of the DotA translation team before that, lashed out on his Weibo accounts earlier, after apparently spending quite a bit of time checking on the progress of Chinese voice work for the game…

Edit: HippoVic has now revealed a few examples, as seen on SGamer, and they are indeed pretty bad translations. Overly literal translations, translations that miss the point, etc. So it is with this background that he is lashing out so violently…

Roughly, from bottom to top, the posts read:

  • “Must not flame… must resist…”
  • “Lacking culture and education is one thing, but resorting to Chinese idioms, such a damn embarrassment. I beg you all to not be so fucking stupid, okay, if you must be a dumbass then fine, but keep it to yourself, don’t make me fix your dumb shit. What have I done to deserve this?”
  • “Rework then, dumb shits! This is what you get for tormenting my ears!”

He has since deleted all but one post from his Tencent Weibo, but his Sina Weibo still has them up, along with another one that says “Thank goodness there’s still me to control quality, or else you bunch of stupid fucks would’ve fucked it all up”.

Previously, we reported that Dota2 would get full localization voice work in China… judging by this arguably extreme reaction, it would seem that the first batch of localization voice work hasn’t passed the test and will need to be reworked.

It is not clear if he is unsatisfied with the quality of the voice work itself, the actual lines and translations, or both. Opinions are mixed on the issue amongst Chinese netizens, with some people glad that he has high standards and is ostensibly trying to avoid the corny voice work that plagues many Chinese games, while others are questioning whether he has a right to so publicly call out others involved in the process.