City of Heroes’ Homecoming rogue servers are now blocking copyright-infringing characters

We got it back, after all.

Players on the City of Heroes Homecoming servers enjoyed a privilege they were never afforded during the game’s pre-shutdown run time: While NCsoft was draconian about cracking down on any characters that could be considered infringement upon big comic IPs (in no doubt inspired by the actual lawsuit about precisely that), Homecoming had no such restrictions in place. However, as the use of past tense would indicate, that is no longer true, as a new update to the game’s code of conduct reinstates the rule against player characters that are too close to the property of a major publisher. Your hypothetical huge green guy with super strength named The Incredible Ruffalo is not much longer for this world, alas.

Of course, this is not precisely unusual for CoH veterans, since the same rules were obviously in place before the shutdown and revival. The eye-rolling contingent might also point out that the rogue servers are by definition infringing on NCsoft copyrights, but this change seems to be one of the many recent measures aimed at making the rogue server operation far closer to a legitimate operation. In light of the ongoing negotiations with NCsoft regarding the title, this is unsurprising and a good sign of where the teams stand. So it’s good news for everyone.

Well, everyone except the guy who made a dozen Marvel Comics characters as soon as Homecoming launched. But that guy is his own issue.

In the spring of 2019, gamers uncovered a secret City of Heroes server running using the sunsetted game’s original code, which was ultimately turned over to the community. There are now multiple public and private servers for the beloved superhero MMORPG, with over 100,000 people on Homecoming alone. NCsoft has not commented publicly or taken legal action on them and is still in talks regarding the game’s future as of September 2019.
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