Irate Chinese gamers block re-launch of classic game by blockading the gates to its cities

Chinese gamers shut down the relaunch of "Hot Blooded Legend," a beloved, classic game, by massing their avatars at city gates and stopping others from entering. They were upset that the relaunch didn't do justice to the original.

Many years ago, the online game Hot-blooded Legend had been the classic game that touched an entire generation of games. As all types of new games rushed onto the market, the Legend players gradually dispersed. Today, these players returned with great hopes for the new game. But when the found out that the new games was over-commercialized and not the "original flavor" as advertised, they felt cheated and used the method of blocking the gates and passages of the various "cities" to protest.

"Chu Yu" is the nickname for a netizen. Eight years ago, this second-year university student registered the user name "Chu Yu" in the Hot-blooded Legend game. For the next three years, he fought on in this virtual world. For his first year, he cut classes for one year as he played a knight, slaughtered monsters, got promoted, attacked cities and traveled around. In April 2003, he won a green necklace. While his fellow students were attending ancient Chinese classics class, he was screaming and yelling in the Internet cafe and almost smashing his keyboard. In September, he met the female Taoist "Xiao Xiao." One late night during the game, they rode horses to the seaside to gaze at the blue water. He told her that they will go to Beijing to watch the Olympics. Then he took her into the city and bought her a purple Taoist robe.

The Legend Returns


  1. Both this post and the link are missing a photo of the “stolen” art and of the wanted poster. Give me the visuals!

  2. This seems like an interesting (and valid) form of protest. The screen caps in the article are remarkable! But for me the real interest here is how these dedicated players are presented in the article:

    In April 2003, he won a green necklace.


    He even remembered that on a certain afternoon, he woke up in his bedroom with his mind full of the image of the purple Taoist robe.

    Part of me thinks “Holy crap! How much have they given up in real life to make these imaginary rewards into significant life achievements?!” But another part of me has to admire their zeal and dedication to this imaginary world, strong enough to make the real life trade off seem reasonable.

    It saddens me to see a community of gamers so distraught over insufferable changes in the gaming franchise they love. To my mind, the gaming company has every right to make the game however they please; if they want to maximize quick profit while betraying the most loyal segment of their user base, they have every right to do so. To my mind, the really sad thing is that if these “hard core” players were to put half as much time and effort into learning how to code themselves as they previously put into playing the game, they could make their own game, and make it just how they like.

  3. That’s odd…. wrong thread…

    @2 – you play to win the game, not to build the game. (And sometimes winning means ruining it for other, modern, players.)

  4. from the article:

    “blog post translated from Chinese)

    The reason why this mass incident occurred was that the new version of Legend was over-commercialized and quite inconsistent with their advertising claim that the “original flavor” would be preserved. In previous versions of the game, victories and social rank depend on persistence. As long as the player is “hardworking” and is brave and strong in combating monsters, he can get promoted in rank and obtain more equipment. In fact, he can proceed to have “romance” and even “marriage” in a life of leisure.

    But things are different in . There are commercial stores in which you can buy anything that you want as long as you have RMB (the real currency of China). As long as you spend money, you can get promoted even if you don’t fight the monsters and you can live a life of leisure. It is no wonder that the netizens are protesting: In a virtual world in which real-world money means everything and actual ability counts for nothing, what embodies the values of life?

    It is not hard for us to see in this mass incident that everybody longs for a world with fair competition in which people fights for victory on the basis of their ability rather than being driven solely by ideas of “authority” and “money.” This is a good thing. People should have those value preferences. As far as this incident went, it was comforting to see this phenomenon.”

    the Party has killed people for less.

  5. The translations of the chat room comments are great:

    “I protest the arbitrary placement of me elsewhere.”

  6. I know that the real solution is in the economic/game design/social sphere… but I can’t stop thinking that this is why being able to pass through other players in a MMORPG is a really good idea.

  7. So… being online makes this protest more visible or less visible to the world?


    How’s the MMORPG market in Iran lately?


  8. @11

    Oh you.

    What amazes me is how the people in question are paying for this game just to protest it in-game. All that the company has to do is ban the offenders. By doing so, they will be able to get the protesters’ money and appease the customers who were affected by the aforementioned protesters with the mere cost of losing a few loyal players. Logically, the protesters in question are at a lose-lose, but I’m sure that in this situation, rationality is hardly a factor.

    The only way to actually show your contempt for a game is to not play it/buy it. Unfortunately, like World of Crack addicts, the MMORPG’ers here could not imagine living a world without their game. Sad really.

  9. Well, at least they found something more worthwhile to protest than just demanding that they don’t get decent healthcare.

  10. What amazes me is how the people in question are paying for this game just to protest it in-game.

    Ilovechocolatemilk, I don’t know anything about this particular game but the vast majority of MMOs in Asia are free to play. They make money off of people buying items and things in the game but to actually start up and log onto the games don’t require subscription fees like most western MMOs.

  11. It’s an interesting type of protest, massing avatars to shut-down the virtual city. There’s a parable or book here somewhere (hint, hint).

    “The thing is,” it amounts to a DoS-type of attack on the service providers, because no one can play the game. You are entitled to feel that the new version of the game doesn’t do justice to the storyline, etc., but blocking others from playing it should be grounds for being TOS’ed.

    If “Chu Yu” was almost smashing his keyboard, he has other problems.

  12. “The ‘counter-attack’ came soon. The chat room kept being shut down. Some players found their screen went black suddenly as they were tossed by the system administrator into the black room.”

    This whole story has the flavor of one of an epic parable about Man Vs. God. Change a few key words:

    The “counter-attack” came soon. The temple was shut down. Some citizens found the world went black suddenly as they were tossed by the gods into the Black Void.

    To be continued…

  13. If you read the linked article, there are a lot of unpleasant, misogynist comments from some of the protesters – hardly ‘a good thing’. There’s always a few idiots…

  14. If I understand the screen shot correctly, each player has a label giving their screen name. If so, this is an interesting hybrid between (virtual) civil disobedience and a petition.

    I agree that the game developers have the right to create whatever crap they want. But rights are the most minimal ethical standards. Buy the same standard, players have the right to do anything within the game.

    Either I’m missing some irony in #11, #14, #22 or the idea that players should be able to walk through each other, or protesters should be TOS’d… Yeah, who wants a reality where someone can mount an effective protest? Any change that lets the sheep^H^H^H^H^H good citizens get on with their regularly scheduled program, by all means. We call it a “multiplayer” game, but that doesn’t mean we want true social interaction to intrude! “Player” is just jargon for a client of a system, and the system should be optimized for throughput.

  15. @25

    Games don’t have rights. They have rules.

    This is not reality, this is a game. You think this is reality?

    When you violate the rules of a game, you forfeit something: your turn, the match, your ability to participate, whatever.

    So, I don’t think you are missing some irony. I think you have confused rights with rules, and games with reality.

  16. Just realized some readers might miss the irony of my own last paragraph.

    Without irony:
    Egypt Urnash, Kaini and TheCrawNotTheCraw
    seem to be coolly assuming
    that behavior like this protest
    has so little to do with what is wanted
    in an online game
    even a superficially social game
    that the thing to do is immediately plan
    technical and administrative fixes
    to prevent it ever happening again.

    That and expressing it in a semi- political tone (using internet politics terms like DOS and TOS) creeps me out.

  17. and you have never woken from a dream and wondered if the dream were the realty and the waking reality the dream?

  18. @ Takuan #29:

    @ #25 Futurenerd:

    Games like this are for-profit ventures created and owned by companies out to make a buck. You might think it ought to be something else, but in fact that is what it is.

    “Player” is just jargon for a client of a system

    Yes, “players” are indeed clients, customers, and sources of income to these companies. No need to pretend otherwise.

  19. Chinese hospitals are incomparable to US hospitals, that is unless one cares more about the comparisons than the realities.

    Glad to see these youths have their social priorities in order.

  20. once, when my favourite roach fell asleep on the the sleeve of my priceless robe, I cut if off rather than waking it.

  21. @28 FutureNerd,

    “behavior like this protest has so little to do with ***what is wanted*** in an online game”

    (emphasis added)

    FN, if you think having the players of *your* online game (if you had one) cooperate in a formal or informal conspiracy to *break* the game, then by all means, don’t let me stop you from spending thousands of person-hours and a lot of money *developing* such a game.

    You presume to know “what is wanted” in a game. If you really have such knowledge, you should create a game; I say this with no sarcasm. If *I* knew what people wanted in a game or FaceBook app, I would create it, and make some money. But I don’t know…yet.

    I’m sorry if using terms like DoS and TOS creeps you out. If “Denial of Service” and “Terms of Service” makes you feel less uncomfortable, I am happy to oblige.

  22. I’m entirely with FutureNerd on this one.

    As a customer, you have every right to complain about a service or part of a service. Frankly I think this is a beautiful, if hardcore, way of doing so.

    Too many developers hide behind unresponsive forums and ticket systems, letting people purchase half-assed products, while they take the money and work on some of the bugs in the background (or more likely, methods to increase their monetization)..

    All studios know that reworking an old franchise or licensed-world is a tricky job at best. If you go and rape the concept there will be complaints, and they’re valid complaints. If a company has bought the license for something you love, and they make a hames of it, then you have no choice but to get on board and try influence the decision-making from the inside, because otherwise you have nothing, and why should their greed disclude your love of the thing?

    It’s too easy to say “if you don’t like it, don’t pay for it”, and frankly its as ignorant as saying “love it or leave it”; it’s just nonsense.

    This is civil disobedience, and whether you agree or not, like IRL, you will notice it, and the developers will too.

  23. the irony i see is the need for a virtual sit-in in a community where a physical sit-in caused deaths 15 years ago.

    on the other hand, even they do have ways to reject retail offers– don’t spend your money on them.

  24. It isn’t just a retail offer they are rejecting. It’s something they love, which has been turned into something they don’t.

  25. That Ethan Zuckerman link is a good read. Lots of comparisons spring to mind of the Irish struggle for independence, when it was illegal/dangerous to criticize the British rule. Many rebel songs of the time were riddled with hidden meaning, like Róisín Dubh from the 16th century, or Four Green Fields from the 1960s.

    The alpaca thing is funny, reminds me of another Irish song, Aon Focal Eile :)

  26. When I was just a lad I used to go to school
    I’d sit down there in the seat, feeling like a fool
    The teacher taught us everything, everything we know
    She had a great big lump of a stick that was bent into a bow

    She’d go “Aon focal dar, focal two, focal eile,
    And I not knowing no focal at all
    She’d go “Aon focal dar, focal two, focal eile
    And I not knowing no focal at all

    She taught how to say all our A.B.C.
    She showed us how to make little men out of plasticine
    She taught us how to say our prayers, she taught us right from wrong
    The only thing about it, we didn’t go to school too long


    She taught us about the history, the Battle of the Boyne
    And how to play a game with the chestnut and the twine
    She says “Open up your catechism, learn all that information
    If you don’t get it in your big thick head, you won’t get your conformation


    Well, the days we spent going to school, were the best years of our life
    Tho’ at the time we thought they were full of trouble and strife
    Now when I’m home on holiday, I’d pass the old school gate
    I think of the time I spent in there, them times were surely great

  27. “He even remembered that on a certain afternoon, he woke up in his bedroom with his mind full of the image of the purple Taoist rob”

    Or as Lao-Tzu might say, was he dreaming of the Purple robe? Or was the purple rode dreaming of him?

  28. “CTQ, I fuck your wife’s stinking cnt until she gets cancer/maggots!

    My goodness. Someone has anger control issues.

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