Following the closure of a rogue World of Warcraft server which was issued a cease and desist from Blizzard, over 200,000 people signed a petition for Blizzard to bring back the server which ran a vanilla version of the game from back when World of Warcraft first launched. Blizzard has now responded to the petition, and it doesn’t look hopeful.
The rogue server wasn’t necessarily pirating the game, but it was offering a vanilla version of the game without any expansions. Blizzard unfortunately closed the server down which spurred fans to reach out via a petition.
Blizzard has now responded to the petition following a few weeks of silence. In a forum post from executive producer J. Allen Brack, the issue with the server boiled down to protecting Blizzard’s IP.
“The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.”
He does however add that Blizzard are still discussing the idea of a “pristine server”, but he is unsure whether or not it’ll appeal to the community. Considering the petition raised over 200,000 signatures, I’d say there’s definitely interest.
Look at Old School RuneScape for example, the game is dated as hell, but hundreds of thousands of users login each month to relive the golden days of RuneScape.