Where is your proof of this? [...] I believe more NA/EU players play WoW than Asian players once again removing RMT's out of the picture.
Don't ask for proof and then provide a similar opposing statement with no hard facts to back it up. Right now on WoW Census
, they're estimating around 6.4 million users in the entire US/EU market. This is nearly half the total population currently boasted by Blizzard, which suggests the other half is in alternate markets, including the China/Korean market.
Stating that RMT's encompasses a large amount of the China market is also pretty short sighted. There are no accurate census' around to suggest actual numbers, but if you think RMT is only rampant in China, you're probably sorely mistaken. Remember...the NA/EU market must
be exploited in the same market in order to offer the services. There's no way to transfer funds from continental server to continental server. That fact alone makes your comment fairly void of logic.
Another reason that a lot of online gaming companies stray from operating is China is due to the political juggling
required to operate. Most of it is done through 3rd party distribution & hosting companies, and there's a lot of obligation to comply with political standards in the country. Blizzard has had to modify what it offers in China to get around these issues (ie. Undead race doesn't look undead, Pandara race cannot exist, reduction of blood/gore content, etc.). It's like releasing an entirely new game, which some companies just aren't interested in putting that much additional development time into the games to allow access to a partial market...especially in the beginning.
The bottom line is, SE (and any other MMO developer for that matter) is smarter to start from a more solid population for release, and EN, EU, and JP markets are solid ground for SE where their not only established, but have the ability to distribute and control the game as they see fit. There's no other way to do it in the beginning, and trying to bank on an alternate/new/etc. market for launch success is like putting one foot in the grave. Even WoW isn't released in all countries yet, and China's release wasn't until over half a year
after the US release in November of 2004.