November 24, 2004
WoWWiki was the original name of Wowpedia during its launch on 24 November 2004. In 2007 the wiki joined Wikia and transferred legal rights for the "wowwiki.com" domain. Three years later, Wikia implemented visual interface changes across its platform that broke some of WoWWiki's functionality and was poorly received by some of WoWWiki's community. As a result, a cohort of non-employee admins and active users decided to leave Wikia and forked the wiki project to Wowpedia in October 2010.
In May 2020, the decision was made to close WoWWiki and encourage its users to migrate to Wowpedia.
Wowpedia was created by duplicating the wowwiki.com database as of 18-20 October 2010, including edit histories and user pages. Thus at the launch of Wowpedia.org, the two wikis had identical content.
From 2010 until 2020, WoWWiki continued to operate albeit with a slower pace of contributions than its pre-fork state. Individual editors continued changing the two wikis independent of the other. Changes were not automatically reflected in the other wiki, although some editors participating in both wikis concurrent or mirror changes from one to the other. As part of the CC-BY-SA license used by both Wowpedia and WoWWiki, copying content between the two sites remained permitted so long as proper attribution was given.
In 2019, after parent organizations Fandom (owner of Wikia) and Curse (owner of Gamepedia) had joined through a corporate merger, discussion began at WoWWiki toward possibly reuniting the two communities. Concerns initially arose about the following topics:
- technological issues, such as Wikia/Gamepdia's plans for developing a single-sign-on between the platforms
- interpersonal conflict, from reuniting two sub-cultures amid grievances and mistrust accumulated over a decade apart
- safeguarding portions of WoWWiki content that were possibly superior
- inter-wiki links between different language formats on either platform
- search-engine optimization
In parallel, a Wowpedia user proposed an informal, non-binding motion apologizing to WoWWiki for past interpersonal conflict. Although this motion had some mixed reception and was never formally voted upon, it received remarks of support from active users and administrators familiar with the fork.
Beginning in February 2020, a vote by five former and current members of WoWWiki concluded the two communities should indeed reunite using Gamepedia/Wowpedia infrastructure. On 12 May 2020, WoWWiki locked itself to further editing. Although prior content remained in a read-only state, Fandom employee Mira Laime published announcements inviting users to Wowpedia and announcing the closure:
- “Just as Fandom has joined forces with Gamepedia, this wiki has joined forces with our Gamepedia equivalent. The wiki has been archived and we ask that readers and editors move to the now combined wiki on Gamepedia.”
- — Banner atop each page
- “This wiki has been archived. Please contribute on Wowpedia from now on! There are two major World of Warcraft communities within Fandom's network, and we are merging them into one definitive resource on the game, so players and editors are no longer split between them. This wiki here still remains open for readers, but can no longer be edited. No new Discussions posts can be created. Please join us here on Wowpedia!”
- WoWWiki at Fandom