Once again, Blizzard has become involved in a length court process dealing with a company compromising their IP rights and making money by exploiting their work. Although this time it isn’t cheaters they’re going after, this time the gaming giant is pursuing a Chinese company which allegedly copied many of the RTS titles Blizz is known for.
“Every monster, creature, animal, and vehicle in the Infringing Game was copied from the Warcraft games,” the lawsuit states. “Weapons, amulets, and other objects were taken straight from the Warcraft games, without pretense. Audio cues and sound effects from the Warcraft games were reproduced for the Infringing Game.” The lawsuit also alleges that the company copied Warcraft names and likenesses such as Jaina Proudmoore, Illidan Stormrage, Grommash Hellscream, Gul’dan, and Malfurion.
That company committing the alleged offense is Sina Games, a mobile-focused Chinese company behind titles like Glorious Saga. Although in the United States, the app is downloadable on the Google Play Store under the name Glorious World.
The lawsuit is seeking $150,000 in damages for each infringing title, and an injunction against further publication of these titles online.
According to Blizzard’s lawyers, Marc E. Mayer and Mark C. Humphrey from law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Sina Games has ‘profited handsomely’ from copying the various Warcraft games. Due to these efforts, the Chinese company has allegedly gained ‘thousands of consumers’ for its own mobile titles.
Neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Sina Games have commented publicly on the lawsuit as yet. Although it’s very obviously going to be a big case. This is partly due to the very litigious nature of Blizzard when it comes to defending their IPs, which was well established through its pursuit of bot makers in World of Warcraft. The company has also been pushing a bunch of remakes of older RTS titles, so it’s pretty understandable for them to defend the property. But the real hurdle here is the Chinese legal system, as there is allegedly a lot of favoritism for Chinese companies within the country, and it may be difficult for Blizzard to get the resolution they seek in an expedient manner.