Last month Blizzard forcibly shut down the popular, albeit unauthorized, World of Warcraft server Nostalrius, but have recently agreed to meet with the server's administrators.
On May 1, the team at Nostalrius, an independent World of Warcraft server hosting a vanilla version of the game, made the announcement that they have been invited to discuss their recent shutdown with Blizzard at their headquarters in Irvine, CA.
An administrator for Nostalrius, Daemon, had this to say about the upcoming meeting:
"We are very excited to be able to help Blizzard understand the part of their community asking for legacy servers and many other related topics, in the hope that they will eventually make it possible to legally play previous game expansions."
There have been no further details at this time as to when the meeting will take place or who will be in attendance, but it will likely include World of Warcraft's executive producer J. Allen Brack, who was the first at Blizzard to enter into the discussion with a post in the WoW forums. In the post he explains that the reason behind the shut down is to protect Blizzard's intellectual property rights. Allowing an unauthorized server to exist would damage those rights. He added that a "pristine realm" like Nostalrius has been talked about for many years. This subject will be a major focal point in the upcoming meeting.
World of Warcraft has steadily begun appealing to a wider audience, likely due to rapidly dropping subscription numbers, which has pushed away its more hardcore players. The game has released five expansions, with a sixth, Legion, launching some time later this year. With each expansion comes a great deal of change. Some have embraced it, while others look back with nostalgia to the early days of WoW, such as the case of one fan who recently rendered the classic area Duskwood in Unreal Engine 4.
In response to these ongoing changes, Nostalrius began development in 2010 as a counter-culture for those those who did not agree with the direction the game had taken over the years, as well as serving as an outlet for those who simply love classic World of Warcraft. When it was launched last year, it saw immense popularity and boasted a surprisingly high player base of around 150,000. Blizzard knew of Nostalrius' existence, but kept silent on the subject up until these recent events. When the server was officially ordered to shut down, thousands of players gathered online to say goodbye and a petition to save the server was created that gathered over 250,000 signatures.
Due to this outpour of support for the server from the World of Warcraft community, as well as some backlash, Blizzard is taking these issues seriously. This upcoming meeting with Nostalrius appears to be an attempt to reach out and make positive strides toward the future of the franchise. Stay tuned to Game Rant for news on this story as it develops.