Lotro just got in where WoW is getting locked out. This means little in terms of revenue but a lot in terms of subscribers. 2.2 million Chinese were playing the open beta, with a high activation rate. But anyways they jsut got approval from the Chinese government to operate in China, or rather CDC games did. From Reuters: "The company's outlook is also being clouded by a regulatory spat over its operation of blockbuster online game World of Warcraft (WoW), which has seen a key Chinese government regulator quash its application to run the game due to "gross violations" of regulations. [ID:nN02450107]" Under gross violations of regulations see "lack of censorship and too much freedom" for details.
I am personally amazed at how long it takes these MMO's to launch in other languages compared to console games but I guess there IS a lot of text in an MMO to translate, and some countries (see China) have huge legal flaming hoops to jump through so I can understand the hold-up there. Still.. why doesn't Russia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, etc.. all get it fairly fast is beyond me.