WoW Theme Park?!

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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?