It seems that Activision-Blizzard isn’t quite done turning absolutely everyone against it yet, including its biggest fans, in their mission to usurp EA’s title of “Most Hated Company”.
They seem to have learned less than nothing from the blitzchung and Hong Kong situation.
What they certainly do seem to have learned from though is Dota. Dota 2, one of the world’s most popular free to play games, started out as a mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft III, as an optional fan-made game mode.
Eventually, Valve bought the rights to Dota from the fan who created it, and spun it into Dota 2 that they released for free as a way to entice users into the Steam ecosystem.
Additionally, Valve makes money off of cosmetic microtransactions in the game that don’t affect gameplay.
Since 2009, Dota 2 has held a worldwide e-sports tournament, named “The International”, competing for a trophy and a prize pool of $1.6 million.
Starting in 2013, Valve started crowdfunding the prize pool through the sale of battle passes. In 2019, the prize pool was over $34 million.
Clearly, Blizzard is gritting its teeth in regret. They launched a Dota 2 clone with their own characters from Warcraft and Diablo called “Heroes of the Storm” which struggled to garner appeal, being a very simplified and less fun take on Dota 2.
To ensure Blizzard doesn’t miss out on the next big Dota, they decided to claim full copyright ownership, going forward, of all custom game content, which would, of course, apply to Dota today.
They recently updated their Acceptable Use Policy as follows:
“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.”
Most early comments suggest this move will likely kill Blizzard’s creative modding community, making them think twice before submitting work and losing rights to it.
Wow. Blizzard is afraid of missing the next DOTA. If you make a game using their map tools, they own the game, not you.
THIS STINKS. https://t.co/HC53tqMWe7
Creative map makers and game designers should beware. Don't make your prototypes in Blizzard tools!
This is an awful business decision. Encouraging map creation keeps games alive for a long time.
Make a good WC3 map or game mode and Blizzard can take it, monetize it, and do whatever they want with it since the idea is their property now.
The timeless classic maps like Canned Bread will be banned on sight.
What a shame. https://t.co/wcpZhUlpHO
Others argue that Blizzard is too big for that to matter.