2009 wasn't exactly a bad year for World of Warcraft players -- they had an expansion with plenty of content to play around in, one that was outselling, well, pretty much everything else on the planet. Of course, if you were a Chinese World of Warcraft player, the picture looks a little different, with the expansion being delayed, then stalled as the companies in charge changed hands, then banned again shortly after it was finally released. So while it's nice to hear that there should be a decision on the game's status in the near future, most gamers probably aren't holding out a lot of hope.

It gets worse -- the brief news item announces that the two squabbling agencies, the GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publications) and the Ministry of Culture, have reached a consensus and will announce the punishment in mid-January. "Punishment" obviously doesn't bring to mind a heartfelt apology and a pat on the back for NetEase, who at best might find themselves even further negatively impacted by the whole debacle. At worst, they might wind up being forced to stop operations altogether, which would be bad news for the popular MMO. Nothing's certain, but it looks like there are still a few downturns ahead.

This article was originally published on Massively.