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Blizzard Going After WoW Related iPhone Apps 87

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently Blizzard is going after developers making iPhone apps for World of Warcraft (free and otherwise) by giving them cease-and-desist orders. As Mike Schramm says 'Blizzard may be planning to do more with the iPhone,' but 'It would be a real shame if Blizzard legal was simply going after fans who have invested a lot of time and effort into these apps even when there's no clear reason for them to do so.'" It's interesting that they're doing so around the same time a video for a (rumored, alleged, unconfirmed — take your pick) iPhone client for World of Warcraft has been floating around.
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Blizzard Going After WoW Related iPhone Apps

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:49PM (#27807043)

    Why? Sorry to be blunt, but why?

    Starcraft II, or any game, would be a risk. A tiny risk, granted, because it will be a seller, no doubt. But why should they shift the focus off something that is simply and plainly a cash cow.

    Blizzard is, after all, a profit oriented organisation. They will do what makes them cash. I know, they are held in a better esteem than Sony or EA, but at the end of the day, they're in for the same reason these others are: Money.

  • by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @01:06PM (#27807171)
    Um, dude? Blizzard is a big company. You know, multiple teams of developers, working on different and unrelated titles? A legal team that has jack and squat to do with development? They're not just some five-man mod team that's getting distracted with flame wars.

    And before anyone claims that they should funnel developers from WoW to SC2, you're on Slashdot. That means you should know that faster development isn't a matter of shoving more developers into a meat grinder of code.

  • by f8l_0e ( 775982 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @01:15PM (#27807267)
    That's a perfectly reasonable question. As I mentioned before, the game was announced over two years ago. At the time of the announcement, they had in game video of the game that must have been at least (and I mean the very least) 9 months of development. That seems like a lot of R&D wasted if they don't plan on releasing the game. The FAQs on their site mention all kinds of reasons for delay, like balancing races and game mechanics. In my opinion, they shouldn't have announced the game until these details were worked out. Those are not minor details, they ARE the game. Game studios seem to be falling into the same trap as movie studios these days. Special effects and cutting edge graphics have become more important than the story/gameplay. I think Blizzard puts itself at more of a risk by not releasing SCII by disenfranchising those of us who have waited a long time for a sequel.
  • Re:2007 calling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Devout_IPUite ( 1284636 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @03:17PM (#27808259)

    Hi. What's your hobby? It sounds like a fucking waste of time to me though, just a preemptive FYI. (No, I don't play WoW, I quit, but I don't use my old WoW time being productive, I entertain myself with other also useless things).

  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @03:25PM (#27808325) Journal

    Well, you seem to forget that this is actually normal for Blizzard. They'll tweak the game until they consider it to be right, and that sometimes means 2 years past the planned release date.

    I'm not even saying this as a bad thing. In the end, that's their main secret sauce. They're the guys who would agree with you that balancing the races and the game mechanics isn't just details, it's the game. Most others would (be bullied by the publisher to) shove it out the door now, and maybe patch it later.

    I mean, think about it. What did WoW have that, say, EQ2 didn't have, as both launched in the same year? I can't think of anything major that Blizzard invented, other than the "rested xp" bar, and we could debate all evening if that counts as "major". Blizzard simply took the time to polish the turd, so to speak, and it paid off.

    What set their RTS apart, since you mention Starcraft II? Make no mistake, Starcraft came out in an age where there were about as many "me too" RTS produced by everyone and their grandma, as there were "me too" FPS. There was everything out there, from fantasy to SF to historical. Again, it seems to me like all Blizzard did was actually give it a good long tweak and polish before it got released.

    So I wouldn't be praying for them to do a rush job this time. If they feel that it still needs more tweaking, so be it.

  • by Devout_IPUite ( 1284636 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @03:26PM (#27808337)

    IP is still a blanket evil with the small exception of company names and logos (a la trademark).

  • Re:Old story (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Devout_IPUite ( 1284636 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @03:29PM (#27808357)

    And the real solution to this is to make different server settings for different communities.

    What? There are people who enjoy the idea of botting? Let them run bots of Gnomergan. What? There are people who hate all mods? Okay, no mods on Onyxia. What? There are people who want death to be permanent? Okay, death kills you for good on Deadmines.


  • When the title is "Warcraft Arena Calculator"

    This implies that the maker endorses it.

    In which case, the proper response is "cease and desist using our trademark in a confusing manner", not "cease and desist developing your product under any name".

  • by phlegmboy ( 1067452 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @07:21PM (#27810441)
    Blizzard does not have a clue about customer relations. I play Eve Online and there are a number of player developed applications such as Evemon and Eve Fitting Tool which not only have the name of the game in their title but make use of an API system developed by CCP that allows these apps to connect to the servers and get information such as currently training skills, assets and their locations, the status of research or ship, module or ammunition building jobs, etc. CCP also release a database which contains information on all the ships, modules, etc so that people that create the player made apps can have the correct information for the modules and ships, such as their bonuses, etc. The whole idea is to work with your player base rather than be a bunch of whiny bitches like Blizzard. Players will always try to create apps based around their MMOG. Blizzard should wake up to this and work with their player base (although I bet most of the "players" are nothing more than gold farmers), instead of against it.
  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @01:57AM (#27812763)
    "Blizzard should wake up to this and work with their player base (although I bet most of the "players" are nothing more than gold farmers), instead of against it."

    Oh yeah, that makes perfect sense. There's a small base of legitimate players paying the salaries of millions of gold farmers.

    Let's guess 30 cents an hour per worker (just a guess), and the account is used 24 hours a day in shifts, so... $7.20 in wages per day. I'll assume by "most", that you meant 75% of the players are gold farmers, and by players I assume you mean accounts.

    75% of 11 million is 8,250,000 accounts. So daily wages will run you $59,400,000.

    That means that the remaining 2,750,000 accounts have to pay $21.60 to the gold farmers each and every day.

    Naturally that can't be true. So you begin to peel back your variables until you admit the math doesn't work.

    Most of the players cannot be gold farmers. Most of them have to be legitimate players.

Friction is a drag.