Written by: Staff Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 .
This might sound like old news to the most dedicated World of Warcraft fans, but apparently a Blizzard inspired theme park is currently under construction in China. Blizzard is the company behind the internationally successful video games World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. Although Blizzard has not made any public statements that indicate they are involved with the project, the park is getting a lot buzz all across the internet.
Even though the inspiration for the theme park is the imaginative and incredibly detailed landscapes of Warcraft and Starcraft, it is simply being called Joyland. However, this points to its relationship with the largest gaming convention in China, China Joy. Most of the hype surrounding this theme park is generated on gaming sites and chat rooms, but it has also been picked up by the mainstream media. This Huffington Post article offers scant information, but it is worth while to check out the image slide show, which includes concept drawings and construction photos.
Among the many unknowns surrounding this theme park is when exactly it will be open to the public. It was first reported to open in March of this year. Having missed that deadline, May 1st appears to be the most likely date anyone will gain access to Joyland.
Meanwhile, there does seem to be agreement about other Joyland details. The location of the theme park is the city Changzhou, in a valley alongside the Yangtze river. Also, the theme park is only the first phase of a much larger project dedicated entirely to the gaming community. According to the website Motherboard, which has put some time in investigating the official Joyland Chinese language website, other video game inspired attractions will include a museum, an e-sport stadium, and an expo pavilion.
The actual layout of the theme park will include five different areas: Island of Mystery, Terrain of Warcraft, Universe of Starcraft, World of Legend, and Molesworld. Each section includes recognizable landmarks from the virtual worlds, as well as plenty of rides and roller-coasters. If Joyland’s architecture looks anything like the concept art that has been released, it should be an impressive site whether or not you are a gamer.
While the great amount of buzz surrounding Joyland, as well as the construction photos, suggests that the park will soon be a reality, many are concerned about the obvious lack of involvement by Blizzard. Either this means the park will not be authentic enough for diehard Blizzard fans or it may spark some nasty legal battles. Although, this would not be a first for China, as their Disneyland lookalike, Shijingshan Amusement park, sparked a copyright controversy some years back.