Remember how the original Warcraft 3 gave birth to a number of custom games, maps, and mods? That golden era was something that many players were hoping to revive with Warcraft 3: Reforged. Unfortunately, Blizzard has taken certain steps to curb or limit that freedom with the re-released game.
According to an updated user policy, Blizzard will automatically get exclusive ownership of anything any player creates with Warcraft 3: Reforged. “Custom Games are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard,” reads the official policy set last week. The moment a player purchases the game, they assign all of their rights and interests in regard to all custom games to Blizzard.
Back with the original Warcraft 3, it was the modding community that ultimately found stunners like Dota — later picked up by Valve as Dota 2. The same modding scene was also responsible for finding League of Legends, another massively popular game in the same genre. With Warcraft 3: Reforged, Blizzard is not about to let slip the next Dota or League of Legends. From today onwards, Blizzard will have all ownership of custom games, not their creators or modders.
In addition, the updated user policy states that Blizzard will also get copyright ownership of all custom games. That basically means any custom game made in Warcraft 3: Reforged can’t be cloned by any third-party. So if Dota was birthed today, Valve would be unable to replicate it as Dota 2 or else face a nasty lawsuit.
Something else to note is that the updated user policy covers all Blizzard games, not just Warcraft 3: Reforged. Hence, the company now holds the power to shut down any custom game made in Overwatch, Hearthstone, Starcraft, Diablo, as well as World of Warcraft.
Warcraft 3: Reforged was released just yesterday and was blasted by players for being a significant graphical downgrade compared to what Blizzard previously had shown. In some instances, the textures used actually look less detailed and hazy when put against the original. Certain cutscenes look even less polished. There are missing assets, dumbed-down animations, and then there are the bugs.
While Warcraft 3: Reforged was never supposed to be a remake, Blizzard had raised expectations by showing a beautifully remastered version of the game. The developer has gone dark for the time being, and tempers are flaring among players. Blizzard needs to make a statement to put things right.