Monday, June 1, 2009

World of Fight becomes World of Fighter becomes WTF?

On May 6 I wrote about The 9, a Chinese gaming company that was the WOW distributor for China until this month, and its teaser page for a new MMO in the wake of losing the WOW account. The page used fonts and images eerily but not surprisingly reminiscent of WOW and perhaps other games as well. Needless to say, I was pleased (I bathe in pleasure bubbles every time I get a chance to knock a Chinese company for creating knock-offs).

And my pleasure deepened, because the title of this yet to be released MMO was World of Fight--you see, Chinglish is another veritable source of profound joy in my life. Just today I walked past a young man wearing a t-shirt emblazoned boldly with the words, "Are you ready to Ruck?" And yes, I knew at that moment, I was ready. Ready to Ruck.

*ahem* so World of Fight is kind of a Chinglishy name, but I find it kind of catchy as well--three monosyllabic words that get straight to the point: this is a world, and in it there be fighting. I decided to check up on this site today, and what do I find? They've CHANGED the name to World of Fighter, no "s". So close, China, yet this is terrible, making no sense at all. At least World of Fight meant something, stirred my cranium in some way to think, "ah, this is an interesting title!"

And the screw turns further. The name is changed; but so is the page itself. While the WOWish font remains, the black background is adorned only with two pillars guarded by what I can only assume to be dwarves and a classical Chinese building in the distance. Suddenly the title appears, and then Chun Li, Ryu, Ken and several other characters I presume to be from various Japanime fighting games.

WTF? Capcom? A partner? Perhaps. But seeing as The 9 is partly owned by EA, wouldn't that be some sort of conflict of interest? Or maybe not? I don't know. It does seem odd to me that The 9 would so brazenly use what are certainly trademarked images to promote an as yet unexplained gaming concept.

One other note--World of Fighter might just be a tagline. At the end of the Flash intro you see the Chinese characters "名将三国", and I think this could be the Chinese title, but 三国 or "Sānguó" refers to a period in China long ago known as the Three Kingdoms, and is a popular source of stories for contemporary creative works in China. So it could be some sort of fighting game set in that period, but that still doesn't explain the appearances of SF characters--If anything, it only confuses the issue. Most likely, as is often the case, The Nine thought, "hey, those are fighters! And we're creating the world of fighter! They will communicate a sense of fight that we wish to convey and attract many audiences and mad money in no time!" Most likely.

Pictures (click for full size):

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