Warcraft 3: Reforged Custom Game Creations Will Now Belong to Blizzard
Changes to Blizzard's acceptable use policy now means that the company fully owns any content created with Warcraft 3: Reforged.
Warcraft 3: Reforged, just like the original Warcraft 3, will allow players to jump into the world editor and create their own custom games to share with the community. However, it appears as if Blizzard is cupping its large hands around the entire modding scene as noticed in the acceptable use policy information.
The original Warcraft 3 saw people taking advantage of the world editor, creating entirely new games within the game itself. DotA and League of Legends are examples of mods that found huge success with DotA being acquired by Valve, and LoL by Riot Games. Because Blizzard had no rights to any of these custom-created content, they couldn’t cash in on profits or control how the custom games were used.
Blizzard forum user, ThunderPope pointed out the restrictions to the acceptable use policy. It appears as if Blizzard has made sure that they own any content spawned from custom games by ensuring that they have instant and total copyright ownership of anything created by users.
Games made in Warcraft 3: Reforged will not be allowed to be created elsewhere, and if they are, Blizzard now has the power to kill any standalone versions of custom games. As the policy suggests, “a Custom Game cannot be sold, licensed, or rented by any party other than Blizzard,”
The policy also indicates that the creators do not have ownership of custom games and they shall “remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard.” Additionally, players cannot create custom games that infringe third-party copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets or other intellectual property rights.
While some of those restrictions are standard, the fact that Blizzard owns the content fully seems like its ensuring that the next big custom game hit that could spawn from Warcraft 3: Reforged is safely in their hands. And if they want to turn it into a standalone game they now have the power. Previously, Riot Games and Valve, for example, have made money from the ideas spawned from Warcraft 3 custom games while Blizzard has been unable to earn anything.
As PC Gamer also points out, the lead designer behind Warcraft 3: Reforged, Matt Morris said in an interview when speaking on changes to the world editor, “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.” So Blizzard seems to be wanting to keep the modding community strong, but fans don’t seem to be too impressed with the changes to ownership.
Warcraft 3: Reforged is available for PC.