Blizzard Files Lawsuit Over 'Blatant Warcraft Knock-Off' On Mobile

Blizzard Files Lawsuit Over 'Blatant Warcraft Knock-Off' On Mobile

The suit also points to games that allegedly infringe on Pokemon and other franchises.

Polygon reports that Blizzard filed a lawsuit against Chinese company Sina Games, publisher of a free-to-play Android title called Glorious Saga, alleging that the mobile game copies several elements from the Warcraft series. Blizzard seeks an immediate stop to game's distribution and "the maximum damages allowable by law."

Filing in California—Blizzard's home state—on August 16th, the developer's lawyers Marc E. Mayer and Mark C. Humphrey present a list of content that they claim infringes on Blizzard's IP, ranging from audio cues and sound effects to character names such as "Jaina Proudmoore" and "Malfurion." The mobile game is available in the United States via the Google Play Store, though in the states the game's name is displayed as Glorious Worlds and Sina Games is not listed as the developer. In the suit, Blizzard's lawyers contend that the app icon for Glorious Saga is "plainly intended" to imitate the cover of the Battle for Azeroth expansion to World of Warcraft; since the filing, it appears that the app icon has been changed to a chibi-style fantasy character that doesn't appear in any of the in-game screenshots provided on the Google Play Store page.

Sina Games is a subsidiary of Sina Corp, a NASDAQ-traded technology company best known for operating Weibo, an immensely popular Chinese microblogging platform with more monthly users than Twitter. Blizzard alleges that other titles published by Sina Games are also exploiting the intellectual property from "franchises such as 'Pokemon,' 'Yu-Gi-Oh!,' and 'Naruto.'"

Blizzard is seeking damages and profits equal to that of Glorious Saga, or the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per instance of copyright infringement. This lawsuit comes during a tumultuous year for Blizzard—though the nostalgic fervor around the launch of World of Warcraft Classic is a good sign for the health of the Warcraft brand, 2019 kicked off with close to 800 layoffs across Activision Blizzard and will feature no major releases from the developer.

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Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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