Chinese knockoffs have long created headaches for global tech companies, but the intellectual-property roller coaster that Activision Blizzard is riding there is a screamer.
At the World Joyland amusement park located outside Shanghai, players of Blizzard's World of Warcraft may recognize some striking similarities to characters and environments from the computer game. But don't take our word for it. Watch the video from Bloomberg Television's Stephen Engle, who gives a tour of the park and delves into the copyright issues. Activision Blizzard said the park is unlicensed, but declined to be interviewed for the segment. Joyland's owners also declined an interview request.
A theme park isn't the only thing Activision needs to be worried about in China. The country, which has been a bright spot for World of Warcraft in the last few years, accounted for the majority of the game's subscriber declines last quarter, Michael Morhaime, the chief executive officer at Blizzard Entertainment, the division that develops the game, said during the most recent earnings call. It could be a bumpy ride.