Blizzard Games are absolutely no strangers to having their IP used in everything from porn, to characters that look similar to World Of Warcraft ones appearing in ads for mobile games. World of Warcraft is so popular in China, that they have made an unofficial theme park.
Blizzard has often been the sleeping giant when it comes to protecting its IP, but with the release of Overwatch. The company has taken on a more aggressive approach to protecting this popular game title.
Shortly after the release of Overwatch. Blizzard issued DMCA takedown notices on porn sites such as pornhub to have any porno featuring the characters from Overwatch removed. This of course annoyed many fans who wanted to see some DiVa/Widowmaker/Tracer action. However it was noted that Blizzard was still lax when it came to their other titles: World Of Warcraft and Starcraft.
The next stop on the Blizzard copyright train is a company in Germany called Bossland GMBH, creators of the cheat tool called the “Watchover Tyrant”. Blizzard stated in their lawsuit that the tools released by Bossland have caused “irreparable damage’ to the company. Blizzard further stated that it’s games are based on “being enjoyable and fair to players of all skill levels”. Tools like this create an unfair advantage in the games and make it more of a ‘pay to win’ style rather than a game based on skill and merit.
Blizzard has also been taking cheating in Overwatch very seriously with its ‘one strike and you’re banned’ policy. This policy is now getting adopted in many competitive style games which is a welcomed change for online gaming. Cheaters were often slapped on the wrists multiple times until the admins got fed up and issued a permaban.
The question is why has Blizzard waited for Overwatch to become aggressive at protecting it’s interests? The company has cited the lawsuit is over loss of revenue. But with the gold mining companies and pay for mods that are often used in World Of Warcraft. The company was surely losing revenue long before Overwatch was even created.
Perhaps it was a case of Blizzard not being prepared to handle how big World Of Warcraft got and expected gamers to play fair and honest to earn the money and items.
Either way will these new policies start to trickle down into their mainstay of World of Warcraft? Or is the company just going to keep looking forward and let World of Warcraft continue as is?