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Admins of shut down World of Warcraft server say they will meet with Blizzard

Could spell good news for official legacy servers

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The developers of a legacy World of Warcraft server that has drawn tremendous fan support since being ordered to shut down say they have been invited to meet with Blizzard Entertainment on its campus in southern California, portending some kind of an amicable resolution.

The admins of the Nostalrius server delivered the news to their community today. Nostalrius was closed April 10 following a cease-and-desist notice from Blizzard Entertainment, leading to an outcry among the tens of thousands of fans wishing to play "vanilla" or an older version of World of Warcraft, without any of its expansions. Such servers are a violation of the MMO's terms of use.

Following a tense two weeks in which fans poured out disappointment and gathered some 250,000 signatures on a petition demanding Nostalrius' reopening, Blizzard on Monday responded in carefully chosen words about its respect for fans who enjoyed a classic Warcraft and also its responsibility to protect its intellectual property.

The Nostalrius team say the server had more than 800,000 registered accounts and a daily active user peak of around 10,000 before it got the shutdown notice.

The outreach to Nostalrius' administrators and the tone of their update suggest that Blizzard, as it mentioned on Monday, may be putting together plans for official classic servers. Blizzard's J. Allen Brack, the executive producer of World of Warcraft, wrote that his development team had been discussing the possibility of classic servers "for years."

The Nostalrius team takes all of this as a good sign. "We are very excited to help Blizzard understand the part of their community asking for legacy servers and many other related topics," they wrote, "in the hope that they will eventually make it possible to legally play previous game expansions."

Further, "we feel we are now not only the admins of a private server: We are also the ambassadors of a larger movement for the entire World of Warcraft community that wants to see game history restored," they wrote.

The meeting date was not specified.

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