Heard of Legend of Crouching Dragon? Made in China, it’s the uncanny valley version of Blizzard’s Hearthstone collectable card game. Just replace “version” with “exact rip off” and you’re there. Blizzard just sued its creators for 1.65 million in the Chinese courts.
This comes after we discussed Battlefield 4′s banning in my “write about China” month. It’s interesting, because I don’t remember Chinese shenanigans ever making the news so much as they are now. Previously, publishers were content to treat China as a gaming black hole, without making serious efforts to crack the market. And why bother? Games would either be censored by the State, or pirated up the yin yang.
However, times are changing. China is striding into the global economy (okay, rolling), making trade deals with America and other western nations. A decade-long ban on mainstream consoles has just been lifted. In this light, Blizzard’s lawsuit is significant as part of efforts to make the Chinese games market profitable for publishers.
The question is… will it work, or is China’s piracy problem too far gone? And is it even relevant to us in Australia?
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