China is often accused of and involved in arrays of copyright infringement battles. Apart from this, there is an extensive prevalence of trademark misuse that the country has been questioned multiple times for years. This legal battle and its verdict portrayed the extent of significance regarding the protection of intellectual property by America.
What remains of 4399 Network is the question now. The situation will branch out into two possibilities. The first one would be to completely lose consumer trust and ruin their credible legacy in the country and the second would be for them to get out of this setback and start all over again.
Currently, Blizzard is tied to another case of copyright infringement. The running battle against Chinese company Sina Games claims that their game Glorious Saga is an exact A verdict by a Pudong court has found 4399 Network, a Chinese gaming company guilty of piracy. The lawsuit was filed by American video game developer Blizzard Entertainment and their Chinese internet partner NetEase with claims that 4399 Network has used content from Overwatch and implemented them in their production game script.
The games that are being put under scrutiny for copyright infringement include a mobile game and an online game by the names ‘Clash of Fighters’ and ‘Gunplay Battlefront’ respectively.
Blizzard has charged the Chinese game developing company of using content from the design and thematic depiction of Overwatch 2 and subsequently using that same in the gameplay, character designs, and playable maps of their home-produced games.
There is also a video showing the gameplay in ‘Clash of Fighters’ doing the rounds.
However, in the end, justice has been served, Blizzard wins Overwatch copyright battle with Chinese gaming company and that too with a sweets settlement. NetEase and Blizzard were awarded a settlement amount of 4 million Yuan or $569,000. The payment break goes something like this.
For the plaintiffs alone, the compensation was of a whopping 3 million Yuan for illegal use of Overwatch elements in ‘Clash of Fighters’.
The two companies also received a handsome 500,000 Yuan after winning against the copyright infringement as led on by the other game, ‘Gunplay Battlefront’. However, this amount seems way less in comparison to that with ‘Clash of Fighters’ because the game was revoked back in the summers of 2017.
Apart from these settlement amounts, 4399 Network is also entitled to 470,000 Yuan legal fees for the plaintiffs.
4399 Network did not lose their defense stand during the ordeal which is quite commendable. Their claim during the battle was that Overwatch itself had stolen various designs, themes, and development ideas from other games. This is copyright infringement of the first degree and as a result, they cannot be put under the blame for stripping off a few ideas from Overwatch.
Investigations proved, however, that Blizzard is not guilty of using copyright materials of other games in the development and design of Overwatch. The claim made by 4399 Network was ruled null with the court giving their final verdict in favor of Blizzard.
The compensation that Blizzard is entitled to from the verdict does not weigh in much. The approximate half a million dollars of compensation money does not stand anywhere near the collective asset value of Blizzard. However, the case concluded with the court ruling in favor of one of the biggest American game developing companies.
This was an example that Blizzard set for the various national and foreign game developing companies around the world as a warning sign. If anyone attempts a copyright violation with their intellectual properties, there will be no negotiation and the company or person in concern will be taken to court.
It is the biggest global open secret that rip off of Blizzard gamers’ favorite franchise, Warcraft.