Blizzard Owns All Rights To Player-Made Custom Games In Warcraft 3: Reforged


Warcraft 3: Reforged is out now, and players have delved into the user agreement they must agree to before playing the game. What they’re finding is that the terms and conditions have changed compared to the original release. Now, anything you create in Custom Games is immediately owned by Blizzard, rather than by their creators.

Warcraft III has had a substantial modding scene, and custom games are an important part of the game’s infrastructure. Now, Blizzard is looking to retain rights to anything created within Warcraft III: Reforged. USGamer picked up on the new wording in the game’s user agreement, which states:

“Custom Games are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard. 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. If for any reason you are prevented or restricted from assigning any rights in the Custom Games to Blizzard, you grant to Blizzard an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, unconditional, royalty free, irrevocable license enabling Blizzard to fully exploit the Custom Games (or any component thereof) for any purpose and in any manner whatsoever.”

This is likely sparked by the success of Defense of the Ancients (Dota), which started as a community-made mod of Warcraft III and eventually spawned a Valve-developed sequel, Dota 2, as well as the whole MOBA genre. Blizzard seemingly wants to ensure that if anyone invents a new genre, or creates a breakout title in Warcraft III, they are not left out of potential profits.

However, players are also now welcome to take donations for the creation of their work, allowing top Warcraft III modders to theoretically directly profit from their work.

For more on Warcraft III: Reforged, check out our huge interview with lead producer Pete Stilwell. He talks about why Warcraft III was chosen for an overhaul, what design challenges the team faced, and what players can expect from custom games and maps.

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