Mafia Wars and Thailand

Mafia Wars and Thailand – March 5, 2011
Nils notes: Another interesting tidbit from the Mafia Wars game on Facebook, as reported on the MW Wiki:
The San Francisco-based company behind MW, Zynga is currently closing down a few older cities in the game, apparently as part of a plan to revamp them/eventually re-open them in a new format. Unfortunately, they committed a noteworthy faux pas in the process.
From Neo-Imperium (scroll down about half a page to where it says “Massacre in Moscow”) …It originally said “Thai King Deported” as seen on the right, then they changed it to “Unrest In Thailand” seen on the left, due to very upset Thai players shouting about how disrespectful it was to publish that image. It’s important to note that Mafia Wars has a very large fanbase in Thailand.
…and then one of the Zynga game developers apparently apologized on the official forum, explaining that it had simply been a careless mistake, as by the “Thai King” they had actually meant one of the in-game characters (a non-player character, level boss), and not the real king.
The question is, of course, whether the developer(s) really just failed to make this clear/preclude any misunderstanding – or if they did intend to refer to the real king, without being aware of the cultural consequences…

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