Activision Blizzard sued over WOW, COD - Report

Report states Worlds Inc has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for infringing on a patent related to virtual worlds.

Activision Blizzard has reportedly become the subject of yet another lawsuit. According to a GamesIndustry.biz report, a company called Worlds Inc has filed a lawsuit against the publisher, claiming that its World of Warcraft and Call of Duty franchises have violated a patent related to virtual worlds.

Someone has a problem with World of Warcraft.

Worlds Inc is claiming that it is owed compensation from Activision Blizzard for a patent that specifically relates to "systems and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space."

"Technologies created by Worlds have helped the businesses of virtual worlds gaming and the sale of virtual goods to grow into a multibillion-dollar industry," Worlds Inc CEO Thomas Kidrin said in the report. "While we are pleased to see that the gaming industry and its rapidly growing customer base have enthusiastically embraced our patented technologies, we deserve fair compensation for their use."

In 2008, Worlds Inc filed a lawsuit against NCsoft over its massively multiplayer online franchises over the same patent infringement. At the time, it was reported that if Worlds Inc succeeded in the lawsuit, it could use the same patent to demand royalties from every publisher with an MMO franchise.

The case eventually settled in 2010, with an undisclosed amount agreed to between Worlds Inc and NCsoft, but it was reported that the former requested that the case be reopened a short time later.

To find out more about patents in the game industry, check out GameSpot's feature about patented game mechanics.

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12 comments
allinchrist7
allinchrist7

Worlds inc is a company full of greedy asstards. Enough said.

ninedot
ninedot

if they started with NCsoft and now they are going after World of Warcraft then they must have been given some damn good compensation. 

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

Patents are only liable when they're not a huge hindrance to the innovation or progression of whatever it is involved in. This patent seems too broad to be held up in court.

le_me
le_me

It's like the phone world. Apple, Microsoft && Samsung own important patents so, legally, nobody can make a phone. 

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Isn't every website, chatroom, irc, mud and EVERYTHING THAT USES THE INTERNET EVER TO CONNECT PEOPLE liable then?

destroyeur
destroyeur

This is the craziest f***ing thing I've ever heard.

Plataea
Plataea

As I understand it, Worlds Inc think they can sue anyone who makes a game with lots of people playing online at once, and that that is basically what their patent covers.  It is beyond ridiculous for them to sue Blizzard or Activision just because their games involve in-game online interaction.  That's a staple of much of gaming.  On that basis they could go on to make claims over dozens and dozens of other games from different companies.  I'm pretty certain they were not alone responsible for online and mmo gaming and should not have any right to claim such a thing.

BrianWil
BrianWil

A patent is a patent is, but i like how they waited until after WOW became the money maker it is before they decided to defend their patent. I sure hope they don't get a percentage of what various MMO's are worth. Give them a set amount. They don't deserve to be rewarded for all the work people have put into games.

fiendless7
fiendless7

after the cash cow that RMAH is and how diablo 3 was designed from the ground up (redesigned actually, the original diablo team's game was scrapped for what we see now) i really do hope blizzard loses, they deserve to lose it all after how they treat their customers

tommynj
tommynj

Blizzard has been known to copy alot of things from everyone else. Wouldn't be suprised if they lose this lawsuit. WoW = Warhammer.

Corrupted_Wolf
Corrupted_Wolf

 @fiendless7 

Are you saying tens maybe hundreds of people with families deserve to lose their jobs over decisions made by few at the top for a video game that didn't cause any significant harm to any single person?

 

Do you understand this lawsuit? This is like someone who invented dough suing the person who invented waffle or someone who invented souffle. 

 

Blizzard may not be so pristine anymore but Worlds INC is an ass for suing over something like this.