This week, we reported on a StarCraft II mod creator who faced copyright infringement charges by Activision-Blizzard, when the game maker took down a video of his mod after providing him the tools to create said mod. The StarCraft II community immediately cried foul, coming to the support of Ryan Winzen, a college student who used the official StarCraft Editor to create “World of StarCraft,” a mod that tried to emulate a StarCraft MMO. But now, not only has Blizzard withdrawn its complaint, it’s extended a congratulatory hand to Winzen and invited him to Blizzard headquarters to meet its own developers. How did things suddenly become so cool?
Almost immediately after his mod was pulled and the incident was garnering buzz on gaming sites, Winzen was offered a job by Riot Games, the makers of League of Legends, a game that itself owes much to the modding community that arose around Blizzard’s Warcraft III. While Winzen doesn’t seem completely committed to quitting college to take the job, he seems humbled nonetheless, saying he “doesn’t even have a resume typed up.” But now, after amicable conversations with an Activision lawyer, the mod will continue to be made (with a simple name-chage to StarCraft Universe) in collaboration with another MMO-mod creator, mille25. Winzen will also get an expenses-paid trip to the Blizzard campus in Santa Monica, where he will meet the developers behind StarCraft II.
It seems that, in the end, the issue was with the alleged use of tools outside the StarCraft realm, making it a more full-scale MMO. Since that wasn’t the case, Ryan Winzen is now the most popular wronged-then-rewarded modder in the StarCraft community.
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