Chinese MMO publisher The9 has launched a website for a new title, World of Fight. Many have drawn immediate comparisons to World of Warcraft, the title The9 previously distributed in China but lost last month after Blizzard cut ties with the company.
Information on the game beyond the title itself is sparse, with the game's official website saying only that "WoF (World of Fight), a new game by The9, is soon to come," according to a translation by The Wall Street Journal's China Journal blog.
The World of Fight website is located at wofchina.com, only a one letter difference from the URL of The9's official World of Warcraft site, wowchina.com. Additionally, both the art style and logo shown on the site are arguably similar to those of World of Warcraft.
According to the China Journal report, Chinese industry observers "wonder whether The9 is launching a 'shanzhai,' or knockoff, World of Warcraft in hopes of keeping WoW players," with iResearch analyst Zhao Xufeng noting that "with the topic staying in the center of attention, The9 can easily attract attention by doing this."
Blizzard officially cut ties with The9 in April, handing over Chinese WoW distribution rights to longtime partner NetEase. The9 will continue distributing the game until its contract officially expires in June.