'World's Laziest MMO' Is Possibly One Of The Sleaziest MMOs, Too [UPDATE]S

Meet Tweeria. It's one of those web 2.0 social games where your real-world actions translate to in-game stuff. As the name implies, the game takes information from Twitter. Any retweets, favs, even Tweet number and follower count affect things in the game. You're playing it right now if you have a Twitter account, actually. The game barely requires any user-input.

Hence why Tweeria calls itself the 'Laziest MMORPG ever,"

Everytime you tweet, your alter ego finds adventures, kills monsters or gets items. Every tweet you post can change his life. At the time you tweet "Good morning" your character finds a new sword.

So far, pretty eye-roll worthy—people who are 'good at' the game are really just 'good at' Twitter, and the game follows the sleazy trend where companies try to gamify everything and everything.

The Verge has a write-up that further details how you 'play' the game if you're curious. But it's an MMO where you can go on raids with your friends and everything based on Twitter-actions, to give you a general overview.

Mike Sacco, creative developer with the World of Warcraft trading card game, told me that Tweeria is guilty of heavily stealing artwork from the trading card game/World of Warcraft. See the following images, where you can compare what the art for the trading card game and Tweeria look like. Left is TCG, right is Tweeria.

'World's Laziest MMO' Is Possibly One Of The Sleaziest MMOs, Too [UPDATE]

'World's Laziest MMO' Is Possibly One Of The Sleaziest MMOs, Too [UPDATE]

'World's Laziest MMO' Is Possibly One Of The Sleaziest MMOs, Too [UPDATE]

'World's Laziest MMO' Is Possibly One Of The Sleaziest MMOs, Too [UPDATE]

'World's Laziest MMO' Is Possibly One Of The Sleaziest MMOs, Too [UPDATE]

'World's Laziest MMO' Is Possibly One Of The Sleaziest MMOs, Too [UPDATE]


Of his own volition, Sacco decided to email the reps and summarized their response to me:

In response to me pointing out that a lot of their art was stolen, the Tweeria reps told me that since this is a "for-fun" project, they didn't need to worry about anything legally. Later on they posted this blog entry. They've now disabled all user art uploading—at least for "art pieces", but they still allow it for items and spells. Worth noting that the offending images below were uploaded by Tweeria staff, not users.

Tweeria's statement in said blog post:

Tweeria was planned as a small, private, non-commercial and mostly experimental project of twitter-based RPG. Frankly speaking, we did not expect the popularity that we experience now. No wonder, there are some questions on the copyright to artworks we use in the game. Please be assured that we do not want to violate copyright and we greatly respect any kind of art.

The bottom of Tweeria's homepage has the following 'copyright notice:'

Based on World of Warcraft image files and texts. Artworks by Blizzard, Sony Online Entertaiment, Kerem Beyit, Brandon Kitkouski, Tyler Walpole, Derk Venneman, Hee Won Lee.
All rights belong to their authors.

Any legal action would have to go through Blizzard, who is the copyright holder for the World of Warcraft trading card game art.

UPDATE
: The issue is not limited to Blizzard, but they are the most readily-identifiable victim. The issue also stretches to many smaller artists whose artwork is being used without attribution—payment ain't such a big deal when this is a no-profit project, but recognition is the least you can do.