Blizzard has launched lawsuits against South Korean cable television stations MBC Game and OnGameNet for broadcasting StarCraft tournaments without the company's permission.
Paul Sams, Blizzard's chief operating officer, said a suit against the Korea e-Sports Players Association, which has been managing the tournaments aired on the channels, is also being considered, according to the Korea Times.
"It's unfortunate that the e-sports industry in Korea is lagging behind other industries in recognition of intellectual property (IP) rights and the basic principles related to them," Sams said. "Korea is the only region in the world where we have had to resort to litigation to protect our IP rights.
"StarCraft is not a public domain offering, as Blizzard has invested significant money and resources to create the StarCraft game and the overall StarCraft universe,'' he added.
"Classifying StarCraft and other e-sports as part of the public domain deprives developers such as Blizzard of their IP rights. There will be no incentive to do what Blizzard had done to balance the games for competition, which is a more difficult task than creating a normal game."
StarCraft is essentially a national sport in Korea, where players and teams participate in professional competitions and earn sponsorships.