Unlicensed by Blizzard, the huge park in Changzhou freely uses images from the two franchises.
The term Chinese knockoff doesn’t even begin to cover Joyland. The massive theme park has two portions – “Terrain of Magic” and “Universe of Starship” – and it is rife with images that would look familiar to anyone who’s played Blizzard’s games in the last ten years. Joyland’s organizers want the park to compete with Universal Studios or Disney World, but the massive lawsuit looming over the park over trademark infringement will likely see it close down soon.
The stated goal of the Joyland actually sounds interesting. “World Joyland will gather the world’s best contents of digital culture, combine the newest digital entertainment and interactive technologies, partially realize anime-and-game virtual sceneries, innovate anime and game communication and display methods, interpret the core value of digital culture, archive education during entertainment.”
A real Blizzard theme park that achieved those goals would be truly something amazing, and an attraction for geeks the world over. But the eyewitness descriptions of the park leave much to be desired beyond the ethics of its stolen imagery. “One of the most disturbing parts of the park was the general decay we witnessed, unnerving in a park open only a hair shy of two months. Cracks in paint and rust on handrails made the attendants’ habit of screaming ‘Goodbye!’ as the roller coaster surged out of the gates even more terrifying,” recalled one visitor to Joyland.
If nothings else, seeing these pictures makes me realize that Blizzard really needs to get a move on with making a real amusement park.