In a stunningly greedy move, it’s been discovered that the end user license agreement (EULA) on the Blizzard website gives the company full ownership over mods and custom changes others make to any of their titles.
The change to the EULA – which players must agree to in order to play any titles from the company – was noticed shortly after the release of the Warcraft 3 remaster, Warcraft 3: Reforged.
The new policy, which may be read in full here, states that users who create ‘Custom Games’ (defined by Blizzard to be “all content created using the Game Editor(s)” including but not limited to “game concepts, methods or ideas”) are the property of Blizzard by default, and they can utilise it however they wish without paying royalties. The agreement further states that users “waive any moral rights or similar rights you may have” in regards to their own creations.
The paragraph ends with a warning that failing to comply with Blizzard’s automatic ownership of your content may result in disciplinary action against your account.
It is likely these changes came about as a result of the original DotA situation. DotA (or Defense of the Ancients as it was known) was originally a multiplayer mod of Warcraft 3 that became incredibly popular. The intellectual property rights of the mod were later bought by Valve, who turned the mod into a franchise, much to Blizzard’s disdain. By wholesale claiming ownership to modifications, it seems the company is intent to not let another DotA franchise slip by it.
The situation seems to be yet another shadow cast on the once beloved company – recently, Blizzard earned the ire from fans due to its retaliation against Overwatch competitor, Blitzchung, and his support of Hong Kong independence.