Universe of Starcraft? Terrain of Warcraft? Is Blizzard opening an amusement park?!
Wait, don’t get too excited. As you might have heard early this year when some concept art was floating around the Internet, the amusement park in question is “Joyland” in Wujin District in China, and it actually has no affiliation with Blizzard. And by “no affiliation” we mean “unauthorized” – because after seeing some actual images of the place, “rip-off” is definitely not too strong a word. Universe of Starcraft and Terrain of Warcraft are the two major areas of the park, and feature not just a similar aesthetic or allusions to Blizzard’s games, but the actual character designs. The Escapist has posted a gallery of photographs taken at the park (which really does exist and is operational!) and you kind of have to see it to believe it.
The following video is about planned “digital tourism” in general for Wujin District, but skip to 3:02 to see the pitch for Joyland from earlier this year. WoW players might recognize the background music.
For those of you who might be excited at the idea of going to a Warcraft-themed park, authorized or not, you might want to hold off on those plans. According to The Escapist, the park is already in pretty dismal shape – more flash than substance, it seems. If it’s just opened and there’s already rust and cracked paint, I for one wouldn’t really want to get on a coaster. And then there’s the looming threat of Blizzard lawsuits. Though it will be much trickier than if the culprits were in the United States, this is a pretty clear case of both copyright and trademark infringement.
Of course, the real moral of this story? Blizzard should get on making a real, good amusement park, stat. They might even consider the route of Wizarding World and just make over some existing piece of park real estate somewhere… The Lost Continent section of Islands of Adventure was kind of lackluster the last time I was there, and then World of Warcraft would be right next to Harry Potter. How convenient!