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Posts with tag trademark

Heroes of the Storm trademark conflict

Heroes of the Storm naming conflict
The recently renamed Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's upcoming MOBA title, is running into a little conflict at the EU trademark offices. Myrskyn Sankarit (English translation: Heroes of the Storm) is a pen-and-paper role-playing game for children, first published in Finland in July 2013. It was originally crowd funded on indiegogo in 2012. The game's creator, Mike Pohjola, is concerned about the two games co-existing peacefully, and even suggests that Blizzard could change the game's name once more. For those not keeping track, Blizzard's game was originally known as Blizzard DOTA, then Blizzard All-Stars, and finally Heroes of the Storm.

Blizzard originally trademarked Heroes of the Storm on September 24, 2013 in the United States and September 25, 2013 in Europe. Mike Pohjola applied for a Finnish trademark for his table-top game on October 4, 2013. This is all public knowledge available by searching the US and EU trademark databases. At the time of Pohjola's application, we didn't know what Heroes of the Storm was exactly. On the surface, Pohjola's application seems to be in response to that original leak. Myrskyn Sankarit may have existed earlier, but the name was never registered with any trademark office until after Blizzard registered their own. Any potential issues in Finland, where the game has already been published, is a question for someone who knows more about trademark law.

Filed under: Blizzard, Heroes of the Storm

WoW Insider Show Episode 97: Chasing silhouettes

Good times as always on our podcast this past holiday weekend -- while Turpster was away, we Americans took over the show, and declared our independence the only way we know how: by talking about the most popular stories in the World of Warcraft this past week. Adam Holisky, Alex Ziebart, Michael "Belfaire" Sacco and I answered your emails, and then chatted about Blizzard's addition of faction changes to the game (and who'll go for it), patch 3.2 and its extendable raid lockouts and universal armor tokens, Exodus and Ensidia and how Blizzard has dealt with both, and of course, that sneaky Cataclysm trademark and what it might mean for Blizzard's future releases.

Whew! If it sounds like a full show, that's because it was. It even went on longer than usual, so you can enjoy the extra-long WoW Insider Show at any of the links below (including clicking on the iTunes link to subscribe directly there). We won't be back next Saturday -- instead, we're setting up for a special Thursday evening show this week at 6pm Eastern, so those of you who can't make it on Saturdays can instead tune in on Thursday night to chat and listen live with us on the Ustream page.

Enjoy this past weekend's show, and we'll see you on Thursday.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Virtual selves, Humor, Raiding, Making money, WoW Insider Show

Blizzard files trademark for "Cataclysm"


Is "Cataclysm" the name of Blizzard's next-gen MMO? This Tumblr blogger has uncovered trademark applications filed by Blizzard in the fields of computer games, paper-based products, and online entertainment services. Those trademarks are on the USPTO's website, and we can confirm that Rod A. Rigole has been employed by Blizzard as legal counsel previously, so these trademark applications, all filed late last week on June 26th, are all real.

Of course, that doesn't confirm that we're actually talking about the next-gen MMO, or that Blizzard is planning on releasing a game called "Cataclysm" at all (StarCraft: Ghost was also trademarked, and we all know what came out of that). It could be another WoW expansion (though you'd think that WoW would be in there somewhere if that was the case), or it could be a completely separate game. Not that we know of one, but Blizzard certainly is working on all kinds of projects that we haven't yet heard about officially.

So. "Cataclysm." Trademark Blizzard Entertainment. Keep an eye out for it at BlizzCon this year.

Thanks, Ryan!

Update: We noticed the domain wowcataclysm.com expired on June 26th, 2009. The domain was previously held and parked out in Australia. June 26th is the same day the trademark was filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office. The domain is also now held by GoDaddy, who we know handles Blizzard domains. That's just a little too much coincidence for us to stay quiet about. It's entirely possible Blizzard just acquired the domain name.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Fast travel, and why it's hard to find in MMO games

Rock Paper Shotgun has an interesting piece up looking at travel in massively multiplayer games, and while the analysis is really about travel in all MMOs, of course World of Warcraft gets placed front and center -- with the notable exceptions of Mages and Warlock summons, it's a game that squarely places you in its vast world, and asks you to make some solid decisions about where you want to be. While travel has certainly gotten easier (and will continue to do so), it's still an important part of the world -- sometimes, when you're in a backwater zone and your hearthstone is down and there's no summons available to you, you've just got to get on a griffon and put the time in to fly around.

Why is that? Why can't we just teleport around at will to places we've been before (a la Fallout 3 or Fable 2, if you've ever played those games)? Why does Blizzard make us traverse the wide world? RPS lands on two solutions: either they just want you to play the game more (certainly possible, especially since big worlds with long travel times and subscription fees are a trademark of the MMO genre), or they're just being jerks about it. But their panelists, and Blizzard, have offered one more suggestion: they want this world to feel vast, and one way to do that is to make you move around it rather than warp anywhere you want at a moment's notice.

Then again, that's some deep psychology, and sometimes you just want to get in an instance with your friends and fight (hence the recent changes to summoning anywhere, queueing from anywhere, and so on). Travel definitely serves a purpose in MMOs, but the genre has shown in the past few years that while instant travel all the time might shrink the world a little too much, sometimes you just need to get to where you want to be.

[via Slashdot]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Mounts

WotLK trademarked by Blizzard

And it looks like the final nail has been hammered in to support the "Wrath of the Lich King" speculation-- as MMO Champion points out, Blizzard Entertainment has registered "Wrath of the Lich King" as a trademark (you've got to do a search for it on the USPTO's website, as they don't allow links to searches), all but confirming that the next expansion will take us to Arthas' domain in Northrend.

Now, just to play devil's advocate, there is still a chance that Blizzard did this as a smokescreen, and that the expansion has nothing to do with the Lich King. But the trademark was filed on July 28th, which by my estimation puts it a few days ahead of the speculation-- that's a pretty strong indication that while Blizzard waited until the last minute to do it (knowing BlizzCon was only a week or so away), they didn't wait long enough to keep us from leaking it out.

The other note is that the patent trademark (note to self: don't piss off the lawyers!) covers not only computer games, but also "comic books," "trading cards," "coloring books," and "greeting cards," among a number of other types of items. I don't know if I ever saw any Burning Crusade greeting cards, but maybe Blizzard expects their little WoW empire to get even bigger in the future.

So: Friday. BlizzCon. Wrath of the Lich King. Be there!

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Expansions, BlizzCon

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