It's been a busy few days for Ryan Winzen, the lead on the World of StarCraft MMO fan project. You almost certainly know the story by now; soon after Winzen revealed the mod to the world, he was forced to remove promotional videos from YouTube thanks to a copyright complaint from Activision. The kerfuffle attracted a pile of attention and even a job offer, and now Blizzard has finally waded into the fray with the following official bit of good news.
Earlier this week, a player-made StarCraft 2 mod called World of StarCraft and described as a 'StarCraft MMO' was featured on a number of prominent gaming news sites, catching the attention of gamers as well as our own. With the name so closely resembling that of World of Warcraft, we wanted to discuss the title of the mod with the developer, and as part of our routine procedure, we contacted YouTube to request the video be removed while that discussion took place. We were also curious about the project and wanted to discuss with the developer what the mod entailed.
It was never our intention to stop development on the mod or discourage the community from expressing their creativity through the StarCraft 2 editor. As always, we actively encourage development of custom maps and mods for StarCraft 2, as we've done with our strategy games in the past. That's why we release an editor with our RTS games, and why we feature top player-created content in the custom game search. It's also why we held a contest to spotlight the best community-crafted StarCraft 2 mods at last year's BlizzCon, and why we'll continue to improve Battle.net to better showcase player-created content.
Like many players in the community, we're looking forward to seeing the continued development of this mod, and as part of our ongoing discussion, we've extended an offer to the developer to visit the Blizzard campus and meet with the StarCraft 2 development team. As always, we appreciate all of the efforts of the talented and enthusiastic mod-making community, and we look forward to seeing and playing what they create using the StarCraft 2 editor in the future.
I really can't imagine a cooler response than this. Allowing the mod to continue would have made everyone happy, but encouraging the work and bringing the dev to the Blizzard campus for a meeting with the StarCraft 2 team is ridiculously above and beyond the call, and Blizzard deserves some serious kudos for handling a situation that could have turned ugly in a hurry with absolute style and class. World of StarCraft will probably still need a name change but as far as happy endings go, I don't think anyone could ask for a better one than this.