A while back news hit the internet of an unlicensed WoW Theme Park that had opened in China. A reddit user by the name of Francesca found herself in China and decided to pay the theme park a visit.

It’s kind of interesting to see her pictures of the area, which don’t really, for me at least, steal that directly from World of Warcraft itself, rather emulate styles that it takes from elsewhere. I go through several of the photos in the video, and try to see the parallels between the theme park’s look and the game, and only find a few.

It seems that the WoW theme park’s Blood Elf researcher did a particularly good job of rendering the Blood Elf architecture and lore, I show a couple of pictures in the article that suggest definite Blood Elf themes. And, of course, there is the Silver Moon’s Pride ride, during which you and the warriors of Silver Moon are taken under Kael’Thas’ command across the Elf Lake and to Mystic Isle. Neither of these is exactly replication of in-game zones, but there are definitely themes of WoW coming through it. I’m sorry to say, for the people of Silvermoon, that their ride scores only a three on the happiness index.

Other than that, there are definitely pictures and elements that strongly suggest World of Warcraft zones and characters, but I’m not seeing any direct copies. Other sources also mention that there is a Starcraft area, “Universe of Starship” in addition to its World of Warcraft area, which is “Terrain of Magic.” Alas, no images are included in Francesca’s album that relate to that Starcraft zone.

What do you think? Is the fact that it’s only similar rather than direct replication in most cases an attempt by the creators to sidestep the licensing laws? Or have they just not got it quite right? And would you visit it, if you were in China?

  • http://twitter.com/PIRATE_or_NINJA PIRATE or NINJA

    audio is creepily unsynced ,  slightly disturbing

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PHU2SYATUMY6TW7IVW4MLGOLUQ Jen

      I agree, the audio being so out of sync really distracted me and made it hard to pay attention to the message.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bert-Devloo/1278598753 Bert Devloo

         It’s already hard enough to focus when Olivia is on the screen!

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidallmighty David Cohen

    Its like you said as far as the pictures go. Its warcraft inspired, but you can tell they either didn’t want to rip it off 100% or didn’t play the game themselves when creating it.

  • Demi_God

    What is the Chinese translation of…

    FOR THE HORDE!

    • http://www.facebook.com/dylan.munson Dylan Munson

      為了部落!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=670665157 Steven Barker

    The real life “graphics” and style of these look as bad as in the game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/inkogni.alex Inkogni Alex

    To me it brings BLOOD AND THUNDER! Push aside ALL the humans in lines and be a **** to any one that isn’t a part of the HORDE, then get drunk and repeat until i get kicked out for this behavior at public places ( don’t forget the teabaging low levels ) :D
    But for real, it does remind something from WoW ( so glad its not Hellfire Peninsula ).

  • Hicks64

    Disney needs to make a Star Wars theme park imo.

    • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

      This is the theme park you are looking for

    • Jeremy Keat

      We need to restore old copyright laws which had a shorter expatriation date so people could stop profiting off of works they never did in a monopolized fashion.

  • Solosend

    Why no link to the image source?

    The blood elf architecture mentioned in that early photo reminded me more of night elf architecture. Also, the building behind that wolf statue was very Drakkari inspired in my opinion, as opposed to feeling Pandaria inspired.

    Could just be that the handful of pictures don’t do the entire park justice, but when I think WoW, I think bright colors, and this park reminded me more of the spirit realm…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.jenkins.73 Jason Jenkins

    of the pictures you have in the article the only time i wanted to sit up and say “hey its wow!” was with those blood elf buildings…which as i think have already been mentioned were actually night elf unless you count the various hunter lodges dotted around which share the same structure type between the two races. as far what i think of it, again just from the article pics i only give it a C for effort…and if i take away the effort then its a D- cause there is just very little to make me feel like i was in warcraft from what was shown.

    a good first try now rip it all down and start all over just like blizzard does with every expansion lol

  • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

    Wonder if they have special daily rides which give you tokens for a extra ticket for the raid level ride.

    Raid level ride, only 30% of park patrons can make it past the Stone Guard bumper cars.

    LFR level raid, just about everyone is drunk, but the ride continues down the track.  Watch the park patrons jump in and out of the ride as it rumbles along. 

    There is always a big crowd outside the theme park, complaining the theme park sucks and their elementary school playground was so much better.  

  • http://twitter.com/NaamahNeko Anna

     Well, right off, “sidestepping copyright law” and “China” never need to mix.

    On the other this equates, at best, to fanfiction. Using the same names, architecture, and so on, aren’t really “disguised”. They’re just what some Chinese day laborer tried to do with a franchise concept art he’s never played before.

    • Jeremy Keat

      Very hypocritical of China.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ejhannigan Eula Jade Hannigan

    It dose kind of remind me of WoW and now i really want to go to China so I can see it all myself. I think more pictures are in order. Never the less Blizzard should make a U.S based theme park here. And if they need any idea’s at I have book’s of them and at a extremely cheep price. ; )

  • http://www.facebook.com/oneniisama Bear Powell

    The 2nd picture reminded me more of Kung Fu Panda and the rest is sorta cribbed from WoW which I think is pretty obvious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pyratic James Coté

    I think if you’re going to make a World of Warcraft theme park, you should go all out or don’t try it at all.  Guess work shouldn’t be involved.

  • Ravenstorm

    Should this theme park be in the US they’d had a law suit on their hands from Blizzard.
    Since it’s in China where Blizz had big problems with the Chinese government getting WoW set up there, Blizz’ll probably going to stay quiet and not go sueing.

    I’ve no idea exactely how close the ripoffs go in architecture or even lore. More pictures are indeed required. My guess is Blizzard is just happy to have China in their sub fee pocket and if the theme park is differentiating enough from WoW nothing’s going to happen.

  • http://twitter.com/Deadalon Deadalon

    We already have a WOW Theme Park now on the live servers :D  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jared.bagley.35 Jared Bagley

    The area behind the wolf looks like Zul’Drak

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000073882284 John Schatz

    That’s funny that you said about the noodle bar copying wow as that would mean what they said is true blizzard totally ripped off the kung fu panda movie franchise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21003660 Keith William Gretton

    The theme park seems to me to be more like generic high fantasy than WoW related. I’ve looked through all the photos on MMO-Champion and nothing there actually spoke to me that jumped out as distinctively WoW. WoW has a very distinctive art style and nothing in the park really fit that style. It feels like you are grasping at straws here, where you see something that is “Mists of Pandaria” I see a fantasy theme park in CHINA that has ‘big surprise’ Chinese architecture and Panda mascots… While the placard does use the name Kael’Thas and misspelled Silvermoon, I don’t know if that’s just a translation issue. Honestly, even if this were in the U.S. they probably wouldn’t run into a licensing problem for most of the stuff since it’s not that distinctive.

  • Mythaniel

    Ever go to a Dollar Store (or Pound/99p Shop, i suppose) and see those knock-off toys that are clearly trying to emulate heroes from established media?  That’s what the park felt like to me.  It’s *almost* there, but the devil is in the details, and its simply lacking.

  • http://twitter.com/olov244 Jason D Williams

    do gold farmers live there?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754168227 Len Hobbel

    Come on ROME was WOW the big bang was WOW  without WOW there would be nothing.

  • Kagitaar

    A Chinese knock-off looking only vaguely like what it stole from, that’s new.