Blizzard has taken legal action against a World of Warcraft clone called Glorious World which copies WoW so egregiously that it even features characters who share the exact same names. The mobile clone takes World of Warcraft and makes it look like a Funko Pop-themed mobile game.
Chinese companies often try to capitalize on the country's huge mobile market with clones of popular western games. Blizzard especially has had to worry about this in the past with mobiles clone of it's popular shooter Overwatch. While that game by Tencent takes Overwatch's spirit and tacks on enough anime flare to make it unique, this new example takes a far more direct approach to copycatting World of Warcraft.
The problems start with the games outward facing art. The illustrations for the game look like a chibi version of World of Warcraft characters, taking their exact designs and distilling them down into a more cartoonish look. Other than the change in proportions, the characters look exactly like WoW characters. The main art for the game even directly emulates the cover of World of Warcraft's latest Battle for Aezeroth expansion. But the copying goes much deeper than outward-facing art.
According to Blizzard's lawsuit, the game also directly copies many of the in-game elements from World of Warcraft. Every single character in the game has a direct correlation to a WoW character with many of them even featuring the exact same names. One character, Malfurian in both games, even goes so far as to feature a description that matches the character's description in WoW.
The game also copies many of the gameplay elements from World of Warcraft. In the lawsuit, Blizzard says that Glorious World lifted its gameplay directly from the popular MMO. They point directly to the animals, monsters, creatures, vehicles, weapons, amulets, and more. The Chinese clone even features many of the exact same audio cues. Blizzard notes in their lawsuit that the company behind Glorious World, Sina, does this kind of thing all of the time. The company has released clones of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh as well.
Blizzard has a history of going after these clones. In 2017, it sued over a more blatant Overwatch clone than the upcoming Tencent one. This new lawsuit seeks damages from Sina, but the company has already conceded. It posted on its Facebook page that it would shut down the servers after suspending logins on August 29th.
No word on whether or not this will apply to the other clones mentioned in the lawsuit, but most likely Sina will continue to operate this way. Its business model seems based on piggybacking off of popular franchises in order to make money on mobile clones, and unless more lawsuits come at Sina, it will most likely continue this trend.
World of Warcraft is available now on PC.
Source: PC Gamer