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The Warship Girls July Incident refers to a series of conflicts between MoeFantasy (abbr. MF, developer of Warship Girls) and Patch Games (abbr. Patch, ex-publisher of Warship Girls) over contract compliance disputes.

Statement

This page is dedicated to inform all non-mainland China Warship Girls players regarding the details of the July Incident. All content and information in Warship Girls Wiki is devoted fully to MoeFantasy (abbr. MF), the sole developer and publisher of Warship Girls R. There will be a certain degree of bias in this article; however, the admins will not influence the content of this page using any means. Everyone has right to edit this page respectfully and responsibly.

Conflict Development

All events are listed in chronological order.    

July 2015

July 2, 2015

MF received a demand letter from Patch. In the letter, claiming that MF had failed to properly provide updates and maintenance to Warship Girls, Patch refused to make all overdue payments (since December 2014) to MF. 

This information was posted by LingLanMiao (Sina Weibo ID: @铃兰喵_钢普拉建造中) on Weibo. LingLanMiao is an employee at MF; there was never any direct official statement regarding LingLan’s real position in the company, but it is commonly believed that he is MF’s Art Director. 

July 3, 2015

Xu Wen, CEO of Patch, released a statement through Tieba and Patch’s official forum, followed by LingLan’s response to Patch’s statement on Weibo. Confused by the contradicting information in statements from both sides, players’ opinions on the issue, at this point, was divided. A few hours later, LingLan posted on Weibo again, reassuring players that MF would do everything possible to negotiate and continue to properly maintain Warship Girls. Xu released similar statement on behalf of Patch and informed players to wait for official notices. A couple illustrators of Warship Girls also posted on Weibo, publicly expressing their support for MF. 

Screenshots of MF and Patch’s negotiation on QQ (a Chinese instant message software) were attached in one of LingLan’s Weibo post. In one of these screenshots, employees from Patch alluded the process of recruiting new players and encouraging in-app purchases to “harvesting leek”, making the term “leek” a popular jargon among Warship Girls players.

July 11, 2015

Patch published Warship Girls (oversea version) on App Store, making it available to all countries and regions around the world. However, according to MF, Patch only had the authority to publish Warship Girls in mainland China and North America, which made Patch’s action a fundamental breach of contract

A few players discovered that all in-app purchases made in this oversea version of Warship Girls were made payable to Xu’s personal PayPal account. 

July 12, 2015

Patch released information regarding the July Great Construction Event (July 13-July 20) on its official website. According to MF, MF was not aware of the event and did not perform any testing beforehand. The Great Construction Event illegally opened by Patch had major deviations from MF’s original plan, and MF warned players to remain cautious and refrain from participating in it. 

In a response to one of the players, LingLan revealed that Patch illegally banned and removed MF’s access to all game servers on July 8, making it impossible for MF to make any changes or maintenance to Warship Girls. 

July 14, 2015

MF created its official Weibo account.

July 17, 2015

Through its new official Weibo account, MF released a picture of its demand letter to Patch, demanding for contract compliance. Patch responded with a picture of its official reply of the demand letter and accused MF of “demanding unreasonable requests and intentionally distorting the truth”.

Patch later posted through its official Weibo account again, releasing information regarding the following: 1. Officially apologizing to all players regarding the “leek” jargon. 2. Ensuring that all players’ game data would be protected. 3. Promising that Patch would continue to maintain and provide routine updates to Warship Girls. 

July 24, 2015

MF posted a copy of its official contract termination letter wit Patch, declaring that it had ended the contract with Patch and demanding Patch to close the game server within 60 days. In response to MF’s letter, Patch claimed that Patch has “software source code right” and that Patch would not be responding to any statement from MF. The ambiguous term “software source code right” rose controversy among players; many of them questioned the concept of the term and whether the term truly exists. 

A couple illustrators and personnel who have connection with MF told players that all players’ game data prior to July 8 had been transferred to the new traditional Chinese version, which would soon begin public beta testing next week.

July 29, 2015

Warship Girls Traditional Chinese version (abbr. Warship Girls TC) began beta testing for version 1.3.9 today. The only server opened was Hood (Android), and in-app purchase feature was not available. Players were told to download the new client and log in with their original account and password. 

Those who were able to log in to Hood today confirmed that all game data prior to July 8 were restored on the new client. Though there were many bugs related to game data, MF were able to respond to player’s needs and fix the bugs quickly. Other servers were made accessible to players gradually within the next two months. 

July 30, 2015

Patch provided an update to version 1.3.9 on the (now illegal) Warship Girls mainland version. Players found numerous bugs in this updates and discovered traditional Chinese phrases that abruptly appeared in game. The traditional Chinese phrases were later fixed. Patch claimed that Patch would be willing to pay more for new illustrators to complete new illustrations, yet most current Warship Girls illustrators expressed their opposition towards Patch’s statement. 

A player who acquired Patch’s address through its official website visited Patch’s office in Shanghai but found no trace of the company’s existence, furthermore providing evidence to player’s increasing suspicion towards Patch. 


August 2015

August 12-14, 2015

Warship Girls TC servers were under anonymous DDoS attacks, which were believed to have came from Patch. The attacks occurred both on August 12 and August 13, which forced MF to temporarily shut down all servers for maintenance. Servers were re-opened on August 14, along with a mandatory version update for version 1.4.0.

Players who remained on the illegal Warship Girls mainland version discovered abnormally high data usage for the mainland client. According to screenshots provided by players, total data usage for the Warship Girls mainland client app skyrocketed to 1-3 GB within less than one month; for some players, the number was 30 MB for 7 seconds in game. It was believed that malicious code was implanted in the game client in order to gain control to the player’s phone and use the data network to perform DDoS attacks on the TC servers. Although the truth behind these abnormal data usage was never discovered, the incident nevertheless angered many players who later initiated an online campaign “Operation Rainbow”, demanding Patch to provide an explanation and compensate players.

August 17, 2015

Patch’s official statement published on August 17 claimed the abnormal data usage to be rumors and accusations from MF.

August 29-30, 2015

Warship Girls mainland version client was no longer available on AppStore for unknown reason. Customer service representatives from Patch told players to make in-app purchases through Alipay transactions. 


September-December 2015

September-October 2015

With the exception of channel servers, all Android and iOS servers were re-opened. Both mainland and TC servers were regularly providing updates, though with very different game content.  

The Warship Girls TC version is now officially known as Warship Girls R. 

November 12, 2015

Patch released the news in its recent statement that it has filed a lawsuit against MF at the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, on October 26th, requesting for the court’s ruling on the illegal status of MF’s contract termination letter. Patch demanded MF to terminate operation of Warship Girls R, Warship Girls TC version and all other related Warship Girls product, and Patch claimed that it reserves the right to legal actions if MF refuses to comply with the terms.

Janurary-July 2016

January 8, 2016

MF released the first official statement regarding the Warship Girls Incident and provided contract negotiation terms: 1. Patch forfeits its ownership for the Warship Girls trademark. 2. Patch could continue to operate the Warship Girls mainland version until the termination date of the original contract, and MF would forfeit all shares of profit made on the mainland version after July 27. 3. Patch pays all payment due to MF (RMB 12,000,000), and MF will abstain all other late fine and compensation. 

Patch responded and refused the terms for negotiation.

February 19, 2016

The lawsuit between MF and Patch over “computer software copyright dispute”, according to official document from the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, held its trial today. The trial was not open to public. 

April 22, 2016

Another trial regarding the incident was held at the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, over the lawsuit filed by MF against Patch on contract termination. 

April 26, 2016

Court ruling for Patch’s lawsuit against MF on software copyright was released today. All complaints from Patch were overruled. While MF said that the trial was only a trivial part of the much larger contract dispute lawsuit, many players rejoiced over MF’s victory and believed this victory to be one of critical importance. 

June 15, 2016

MF and Patch’s lawsuit over “computer software copyright usage dispute” was held at the Shanghai High People’s Court. 

June 23, 2016

Patch released an official statement, saying that Patch and MF have settled down the case. MF later confirmed the news.

July 7, 2016

Warship Girls mainland client closed in-app purchase feature and new player registration today. Patch will terminate all mainland servers’ operation on September 6th, 2016.

This marks the official end to the Warship Girls July Incident. 


Impact

The Warship Girls July Incident was reported by many web media and left lasting influence in the mainland China mobile game industry. 

Countless players were lost during July-September 2015, especially players on channel servers who were unable to restore game progress. Many players were also lost due to the prolonged period of the incident and server instability. 

Gladly, with new features such as the new combat system and dress-up, MF were able to gradually attract and introduce new players to Warship Girls R. 

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