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Chinese company takes down copycat game after lawsuit from Blizzard

Sina Games, a Chinese game company, has taken down a game that it has been accused of copying from an American game company.

Blizzard Entertainment, which made the hit game Warcraft, has accused Sina Games of copying some characters wholesale from their game.

Blizzard said some character names, like Jaina Proudmoore, Gul’dan, and Malfurion, are totally copied and used in the Chinese game, called Glorious Saga. The Chinese game, which was free to play and was available on mobile and in browsers, had not just similar characters to Blizzard’s, it also has similar monsters, creatures, animals and vehicles to the Warcraft games. This includes “specific sets of powers and traits that are unique to particular characters and races.”

According to the lawsuit Blizzard filed in the state of California, "Defendants (Sina Games) 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."

The copying does not end at character design and items, and extended to promotional activities by the Chinese game company. Sina Games allegedly embedded on their website or social media pages keywords such as “World of Warcraft”, used a game icon and logo designed to look like Warcraft game box covers or key art; and posted promotional images that featured Warcraft characters.

Blizzard wants the court to halt the infringement in copyright and is demanding US$150,000 per infringed work from Sina as compensation.

In response, Sina took its game offline. It wrote: “…due to some irresistible reasons, we decided to announce that the game will stop operating at 6:00 on 29th of Aug. (EDT), and all the servers will be closed.”

The Chinese game company did not mention the lawsuit, although “irresistible reasons” might have had something to do with it.

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Mark Laudi

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