Playing World of Warcraft in China is a little different than playing World of Warcraft just about anywhere else. In addition to content changes to suit the Chinese government -- like corpses being replaced with gravestones -- the payment method is different. Instead of paying for WoW on a monthly basis, Chinese gamers pay an hourly rate for access.
But starting on October 16th, that rate is getting an increase -- the game's first price change since it launched in the region -- and a pretty sizable one, at that. The new fees are 30¥ (about $5) for 2700 minutes and 15¥ (about $2.50) for 1350 minutes, an increase of 45%. Though those rates may seem low by our standards, it's a big increase for Chinese gamers, who have accounted for more of WoW's recent subscriber drop than gamers elsewhere. A big rate hike doesn't seem likely to help the game hold on to the game's Chinese subscribers, who don't even have this fall's launch of Warlords of Draenor to look forward to.