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World of Warcraft legacy server shut down by cease and desist letter just 5 hours after launch

Blizzard's unpredictable eagles strike again.

World of Warcraft legacy server Flemyst launched last Friday, giving 5,000 players a chance to experience the MMORPG as it was in the days of the Burning Crusade expansion. It was shut down just five hours later.

According to creator Gummy52 in various posts rounded up by ArsTechnica, Blizzard's law firm delivered a surprise cease and desist letter to his home on launch day, bringing an abrupt end to four years of unpaid work and leaving him shocked.

Although it came out of the blue and arrived much sooner than anticipated, the shutdown wasn't totally unexpected; Blizzard takes a dim view of legacy servers, usually citing piracy concerns as in this case. But it's yet another example of the outwardly strange and inconsistent nature of Blizzard's policies on the matter: while Flemyst and Nostalrius were shut down, other private legacy servers such as Gummy52's previous project Scriptcraft have been allowed to flourish. Even the high-profile Elysium, which the Nostalrius team withdrew support form in January, is up and running.

The hunger for legacy World of Warcraft servers isn't a secret. Blizzard met with the Nostalrius team last year and raised hopes for official World of Warcraft Legacy servers, but nothing came of it.

Since Blizzard knows the demand is there but tends to move slowly and hold off on announcements, we may be waiting a while to get an update. Keep your ears peeled during BlizzCon in November - but don't hold your breath.

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