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Starym

Warcraft Ripoff Game Sued by Blizzard and Shut Down

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We've all seen plenty of games, especially in the mobile space, that use Blizzard and more specifically Warcraft imagery, either in their promotional material or even in the game itself. Glorious Saga (called Glorious World in the West, and even listed under a different developer, but still carrying the Glorious Saga name in-game and on its store page) goes several steps further as it uses Warcraft images, sound cues, characters and more - and Blizzard has had enough of it, suing the developer Sina Games for copyright infringement.

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See anything familiar?

You can get a pretty good idea of just what kind of game this is from it's Google Play description alone, with some very subtle references:

Quote

Glorious World is a serious of free rpg game developed by instantfuns. It is always in the forefront of the fantasy game rankings with dark soul effects. It is also called saga online game which has 6 legendary heroes within each of the two Factions and each hero has unique skills, including mutually countering Captain Skill. Players can obtain rewards with final fantasy brave and then improve heroes’ stats, which is the glory of general in the game. Each hero has its own unique target without the limitation of turn-based battles. Therefore changing formation can quickly affect the battle results and it.

 

Blizzard is seeking $150,000 per infringement (plus attorney's fees), which will add up pretty quickly considering the entire game is littered with not only art and sound copies, but the devs also didn't even deign to change the character's names or their relationships (in Glorious Saga the character Malfurion is married to Whisperwind). Blizzard are also suing for a permanent injunction, but Sina Games apparently made that part much easier as they've shut down the game today with this message on the game's facebook page:

Quote

Stop Operating

Dear players,

Thanks for your support and love of our game. We had a great and happy time in the game.

But due to some irresistible reasons, we decided to announce that the game will stop operating at 06:00 on 29th of Aug. (EDT), and all the servers will be closed. Players can't login any longer.

We are very sorry and we will do our best to guide and provide best service for all the players during the server closure process.

Operation Team

As you'd expect from a "game" like this, the developer is Chinese and this isn't the first franchise they've ripped off, with Naruto and Yu-Gi-Oh getting a similar treatment. Glorious Saga is also available in the West, which may be why Blizzard went for the lawsuit, as these types of Chinese market-only ripoffs are usually left to exist. Here's the relevant part of the suit:

Quote

Defendants did not just copy a few discrete elements from Blizzard’s Warcraft games; they created a game whose content is almost entirely copied from the Warcraft games and related products. Every character in the Infringing Game was copied from a character from the Warcraft
games, and many even bear the names of popular characters from the Warcraft games such as “Jaina Proudmoore,” “Gul’dan,” and “Malfurion.” Every monster, creature, animal and vehicle in the Infringing Game was copied from the Warcraft Games. 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. Defendants even
 created an icon for their game that plainly is intended to look like the cover of Blizzard’s most recent World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth:

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If you want to read the whole lawsuit, head on over to Polygon, who initially broke the news.

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Ah... thank you Blizzard. I've seen this ad so many times and I was wondering when Blizzard tries to shut it down. I hope that those other infringement games get shut down, too. It just saddens me as a game designer that a) people don't care about their games, b) people apparently fall for this.

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12 minutes ago, Enryu said:

lol, what did they expect

To get away with it ofc - and quite frankly, they probably will nonetheless. They may have to shut down activities in the US but I'm almost certain they won't do so in China. If they lose the lawsuit - which is quite possible as Blizzard filed in California - they will probably throw away the companies that got sued and let them go bankrupt. That way they won't have to pay too much as the companies that got condemned to pay the damages won't have any assets anymore. After that, the people behind the companies will probably relocate, set up another company under a different name and republish a "different" game - which will be the same game, maybe with another name. So I guess shutting them down in the US and probably western Europe is the best Blizzard can hope for, maybe they get some minor compensation for damages, but I would guess not too much.

4 hours ago, Starym said:

Glorious Saga is also available in the West, which may be why Blizzard went for the lawsuit, as these types of Chinese market-only ripoffs are usually left to exist.

I quickly scanned through Blizzards complaint and they seem to make a big point about Jurisdiction in CA. To me, that makes absolute sense. Mind you, I haven't been to court in China so what follows are assumptions. When you want to drag someone into court in western Jurisdictions, you usually have to do this in their Jurisdiction - there are exceptions of course.  Concerning domestic cases, this usually is not an issue – Courts in New York do not function fundamentally different than Courts in let's say DC. There usually are minor differences but those are subtle and easily handled by any Lawyer. On a global scope however it might just be a problem, as in the case at hand this would basically mean, Blizzard would have to sue in China. Going to court abroad always means taking a risk - which for a US-based company is bigger in China than say in the UK or Europe. In most if not all cases you need Lawyers from said foreign Jurisdiction. This is of course entirely possible, but it's expensive. It's basically a simple risk-reward calculation, with the risks in China usually deemed too high, especially if it's not even sure, if the Defendants will be able to actually pay should they be condemned to.

Now the Defendants might have screwed up, because they - allegedly - have directed their activities at the United States and at California. If true, this would create personal jurisdiction over the Defendants for the courts in California, allowing Blizzard to sue in the US and not in China. If you can create Jurisdiction "at home", you can calculate chances of success much better and in this case, things look much better for Blizzard in CA than in China. That of course goes hand in hand with the availability of the infringing game in the West. Apparently Blizzard deemed it worth a shot.

 

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32 minutes ago, Kurosu said:

Meanwhile, blizzard completely copy- pasted a chinese game in order to create diablo immortal and nobody bats an eye .  😉

Netease did it from their other game, with Blizzard overseeing. Can't get sued if they have copied from themselves. 🤷‍♂️ 

So Vanessa is in the Alliance and Gul'dan in modern Horde. Actually, he's an "Orc Warlock" who became first orcish warlock. Not to mention the famous Warchief Azshara, Stormwind King and Hellstream's Warsong (it's good to know he reacted fast).

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Same should go for mobile games "Raid" and that whole "Mobile Legends" thing. 😄 And many other sh*tgame garbage out there on mobile that are Warcraft copycats.

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