Remember in the last edition of Lawbringer, when I wrote that the majority of the questions post-BlizzCon 2011 were questions about panda people, whether Kung Fu Panda would sue, and how Pandaren are possible in China? Well, there was a third question: How can the Pet Battle system exist in World of Warcraft when it is so spiritually and mechanically similar to the underlying game mechanics of the Pokémon franchise? The truth is that it is and it isn't as similar as you might suspect, and the key factors in any copyright fight don't hold up a potential cause of action.
From the BlizzCon presentation, we gleaned a good bit of information about the WoW Pet Battle system coming with Mists of Pandaria. Players have been collecting companion (or vanity) pets for years, little dudes and dudettes who follow your characters around looking cool, performing cute emotes, and acting as the occasional status symbol. Companion pets even became the first foray into Blizzard-accepted real-money gold buying with the Guardian Cub as an experiment in fighting gray-market gold selling. Companion pets have become their own meta-game in WoW despite the introduction of the actual meta-game Pet Battle system.
Companion pets will now be at the center of a minigame of their own. After years of collecting and coveting, finally these pets will serve a purpose beyond looking adorable or annoying Dalaran with chilling screams of "NEW TOYS, FOR ME?!" Many players have noticed that the Pet Battle system bears a striking resemblance to the biggest pet battle system franchise ever created, Pokémon. Do you know what Pokémon is? I'm sure you know what Pokémon is.