Blizzard has issued a cease and desist order to the owners and hosts of Nostalrius, a private World of Warcraft server which runs a legacy 'vanilla' version of the MMO - a direct violation of the terms and conditions of the game.
The team behind the server, which boasted a peak userbase of over 150,000 has penned an open letter to Mike Morhaime, agreeing to shut down the current iteration of the service, but offering to collaborate on a solution for people who want to play pre-expansion versions of WoW no longer supported by the developer.
"We were a team of about thirty volunteers, and used to host an international legacy server for this version of WoW," the post reads. "For roughly one year, it was an amazing journey for all of us, and for the 800,000 players who registered an account, including the 150,000 players who were active. We passionately reproduced the original progression you created throughout patches and content releases.
"We never saw our community as a threat for Blizzard. It sounds more like a transverse place where players can continue to enjoy old World of Warcraft's games no longer available, maybe until a new expansion appears; a huge and powerful community of fans that remains attached to future Blizzard games, as we have in no other gaming company.
"We don't have the pretention to come up with a complete solution regarding legacy servers that you and your company didn't already think about, but we'd be glad and honored to share it with you if you're interested, still on a volunteer basis.
"Do you think that a policy change can be made regarding legacy servers based on volunteers work, for very old no longer supported game expansion?"
Blizzard's response has been unequivocal, with a Blizzard employee pointing out that the operation of these servers is very clearly in violation of the company's terms and conditions and will not be tolerated.
"Ultimately, this isn't an issue because of 'lost' subscription fees from players choosing these illegitimate servers over the real WoW servers - it simply boils down to the fact that private servers are illegal, and that's that."