New Policy Makes All Warcraft 3: Reforged Custom Games Blizzard Property

Warcraft 3 might be one of the most popular strategy games that Blizzard has ever made, but its enduring legacy came down to the company’s support of custom games. Through custom games, players were able to modify the base Warcraft experience into different genres and rulesets. This led to the rise of MOBAs, specifically DOTA 2 and League of Legends.

Obviously, Blizzard is mad about losing out on all the money those two games have made. It’s really the only way you can explain this new policy change the company has enacted. In a post on its website from last week, Blizzard outlined some changes made to its “Acceptable Use Policy” and the most striking is that the company is reserving the right to retain ownership of any and all custom games made in Reforged.

“Custom Games are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard,” reads the guidelines. “Without limiting the foregoing, you hereby assign to Blizzard all of your rights, title, and interest in and to all Custom Games, including but not limited to any copyrights in the content of any Custom Games.” That last part is important as it basically confirms some of the most popular custom games cannot be remade.

It makes sense from a financial standpoint for Blizzard to do this, but it runs counter to statements the company has made. In an interview with PC Gamer about Reforged, lead designer Matt Morris stated, “Anything we could do to give more power to the user who wants to make these maps and continue to push that custom mode forward,” when questioned about how Blizzard tweaked the custom map editor.

That certainly doesn’t fit in with this policy of “We own everything and also don’t use other popular IPs.” Considering fans wouldn’t be paying for these custom games (as they are, essentially, mods), this change mostly comes off like Blizzard trying to shut down budding developers from growing.

I guess anyone would do that after how insanely successful MOBAs became. Blizzard’s past history of treating its fans like kings is obviously at an end. Long live the old Blizzard.

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