Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) video games are very popular in China. Combine that with the country’s culture of fakes and copycats and you get lots of unofficial merchandise and even venues inspired by popular virtual reality universes. One such place was the World of Warcraft-themed restaurant on Chaoyang Road, in Beijing.
Opened in 2008, by a businessman who just happened to also be a huge fan of Blizzard’s fantasy universe, the unique World of Warcraft restaurant was designed entirely around the MMO and its original opening cinematic. Created as a “comfortable gathering place for fellow gamers”, this place had Warcraft-inspired decorations, dishes named after locations in the game and plasma screens showing live footage from the MMO world. The large banner above the entrance featured the game’s logo, an Alliance mage and a Horde warrior, as well as the crests of the two playable races. This would have probably been enough to attract the millions of Chinese fans who live and breathe World of Warcraft, but the entrepreneur really went all out trying to make the restaurant itself appeal to die-hard gamers.