Blizzard Shuts Down Fanmade Overwatch Playboy Parody

Overwatch and porn (or, in this case, "artful eroticism") have quite a history. Blizzard's never seemed entirely comfortable with it, but the burgeoning Overwatch porn scene has raged on without its explicit approval. An Overwatch Playboy parody, however, apparently went too far.

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Playwatch Magazine began as nothing but a series of Playboy-style covers featuring Overwatch characters, created by an artist named Manusogi. Then a site called ran with the idea and started pairing covers and art with articles. Some were in-universe (like interviews with Bastion and D.Va) while others highlighted fan content. There were also a lot of near-nude Overwatch characters, because of course there were.

All told, it was a pretty clever enterprise, albeit one that wasn't exactly family-friendly. Now they have received a copyright notice from a digital copyright agency representing Blizzard, which means the project is six feet under until further notice. "We have received a notification from a digital copyright protection agency that claims Playwatch Magazine infringes Blizzard's intellectual property rights," reads a message on Playwatch's website (via PC Gamer). "For that reason, we have contacted Blizzard directly and decided to close the website until we have an answer from them."

Some have speculated that Playwatch's Patreon is the reason Blizzard's law squad decided to crack down, but it wasn't exactly making bank. Still, it isn't generally a good idea to try to make money off somebody else's characters and IP, even if you are putting your own spin on them, and especially if you're taking their clothes off.

This may or may not be over, but in the meantime, Playwatch's staff is looking on the bright side.

"We started several months ago with the goal of bringing Overwatch fans a new way of enjoying the game and creating a place where artists and writers could share their work with the rest of the community," they wrote. "The entire Playwatch Team is extremely grateful for your support. It has been a privilege getting to know you all, and we will keep you updated with any news we have."


    Sounds more like they received one of the hundreds of thousands of automated DMCA takedown notices flooding the internet every day.

    The fact that Playwatch closed the website down says more about their unwillingness to get caught up in a legal spat with Blizzard's vast legal team than the merits of any potential legal case.

    Parody is protected speech in the United States, which is why there are so many unauthorised real porn game/movie parodies out there. It's much easier to pull off parody legally than a direct rip off.

      While I agree the work is probably fine, parody alone isn't a defence. It's one requirement of the fair use defence, which also requires 4 or 5 (off the top of my head) other conditions be met. Even for parodies, if they don't meet the other conditions they'd still be ruled a violation.

      Successful defence depends a lot on the district court and what appeals circuits you're in. California (where the case would likely be heard) is part of the 9th Circuit which from memory weighs commercial use quite heavily against fair use claims.

    Aw, that's a shame. For someone like me, whose interest in Overwatch goes no further than the porn coming out of it (I tried playing the game in open beta and got quite bored after only a few hours), the loss of something like this is quite sad.

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