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Nintendo Warns Webzen Over Zelda MMO Similarities

Nintendo Warns Webzen Over Zelda MMO Similarities

February 24, 2005 | By David Jenkins

February 24, 2005 | By David Jenkins
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Officials from Nintendo have raised concerns through its Korean distributor Daiwon C.I. that characters in forthcoming Webzen-published South Korean PC online game Wiki may violate trademarks from its GameCube title The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.

Often noted for its diligence in protecting its copyrights, a Nintendo spokesman claimed the company was taking 'natural steps' in protecting its intellectual rights and would 'seek appropriate measures at the appropriate time.' According to South Korean Nintendo spokesman Jeong Hyuk-jin, this is the first time that the company has addressed copyright issues related to a competitor's game design in Korea.

Unveiled as part of Webzen's recent product announcements, which also included news of a major Unreal Engine 3 MMO and a new MMO title from Grand Theft Auto creator David Jones, Wiki clearly does share a very similar artistic design to Wind Waker. However, despite this, a spokesperson from developer Webzen claims that the hero of the game does not have any fixed image, and is created by the player to be their avatar in the game world.

"The number of variables [for hairstyles, clothes and facial features] are in the tens of thousands," said Webzen's spokesperson Choi Hyun-woo in an interview with Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily, also commenting: "We are still in the middle of developing the game, which will begin closed testing services in December."


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