Though Blizzard is doing well in China, it still isn’t far away from legal problems. The company has been sued by Chinese IT company Founder Electronics who is claiming for 100 million yuan in damages for copyright infringement. Apparently, Blizzard, The9 (which runs WoW in China) and Qingwentuwen (Beijing distributor) had used five fonts from the company’s database for use in World of Warcraft without proper authorization.
Founder Electronics, the largest provider of Chinese fonts in the country, claims that the infringement of copyright was “serious” due to the fact that WoW has more than 7.5 million active player accounts. “The lost earnings of one billion yuan was a conservative estimate,” they said.
No comment has been made yet by Blizzard. This is, interestingly, the largest IP suit in China, a country ridden with software piracy.
Thanks to Gamasutra’s recent visit to China, the Xbox 360’s piracy situation has come to light. According to this article, the author discovered that game piracy for the next-gen console is “spreading notably” throughout the country, with at least one vendor offering a Xbox 360 game for $3.5 US.
The author tracks it back to a March 2006 event where hackers managed to flash changes to the firmware of the console’s DVD drive, allowing it to run unsigned code. Pirates in the region are basically exploiting this function, allowing for pirates copies of Xbox 360 games to be openly sold in stores. However, it is still low thanks to the high cost of the console, as compared to PS2 and Xbox, relative to average Chinese salaries.
Apparently, many individuals and stores are offering to flash the console’s BIOS to allow piracy. Large selections of pirated Xbox 360 games are also available, including Ninety-Nine Nights, Project Gotham Racing 3 and Fight Night Round 3, according to the article.