The developers behind the World of Warcraft legacy server Nostalrius have been invited to meet Blizzard Entertainment, weeks after the game's developer swooped in with a cease-and-desist order forcing its closure. The meeting will be held at the company's Irvine, California, headquarters, but there is no mention of when the meeting will take place or who will be attending.
The administrators of the fan-run server announced the news on 1 May in the Nostalrius forums, suggesting an amicable resolution could be in the works.
"We are very excited to help Blizzard understand the part of their community asking for legacy servers and many other related topics in the hope that they will eventually make it possible to legally play previous game expansions," the admins wrote.
Nostalrius was shuttered on 10 April after Blizzard's notice, resulting in significant backlash from the tens of thousands of fans looking to play the classic "vanilla" version of World of Warcraft without its expansions. According to the Nostalrius team, the server had more than 800,000 registered accounts and a daily active user peak of nearly 10,000 before it was ordered to shut down.
A petition to keep Nostalrius alive drew more than 250,000 signatures and the support of former WoW team lead Mark Kern who pledged to personally deliver the petition to Blizzard president Mike Morhaime.
"After the answer from Blizzard and the amazing support we received, 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," the administrators wrote. "It is a major responsibility. Our top priority and only focus now is to fulfill the needs of this community, by carrying your voice to Blizzard directly."
The Nostalrius team added that they will not release the game's source code and data base to the public.
"Keeping the sources private could be useful at some point during the discussion with Blizzard," they said. "They proposed to discuss together and we want to have all the chances on our side, for the community we represent now. Furthermore, if official legacy servers were to be released at some point in the future, the emulation would become, in essence, obsolete for our community."
"Our silence on this subject definitely doesn't reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic," J Allen Brack, executive producer of World of Warcraft, wrote. "We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW. In fact, I personally work at Blizzard because of my love for classic WoW."
Brack said that the team has been discussing the possibility of classic servers "for years". However, he notes there are "tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers".
World of Warcraft will celebrate its 12th anniversary in November with its next expansion for the game, Legion, slated for release in August. The highly anticipated movie adaptation of the popular game series is set for release in June.