Eyebrows in the air this morning, as the largest group of City of Heroes rogue servers, Homecoming, just announced that they’ll be cracking down on players who post new streams and video footage of their servers.
“As we requested a few months back, we would prefer if streams and videos of gameplay on Homecoming were not broadcast or uploaded whilst we are still working on legitimizing the server. We’re now going to be enforcing this as part of the Code of Conduct: ‘Whilst Homecoming is still undergoing efforts to become a legitimate operation, live broadcasts or uploads of gameplay footage are not permitted.’ Any videos uploaded before tomorrow (March 8th) will be left alone, but any new videos or streams will be treated as a Code of Conduct violation. While we understand this may be frustrating, it is unfortunately a necessary step we must take. This rule will only remain in place whilst these efforts are still ongoing – we will be lifting this restriction once this process has reached its conclusion.”
It is not yet clear how exactly infractions will be identified and dealt with. We assume the penalties would extend to journalists covering the game in video and stream format as well, which is disturbing for multiple reasons.
It’s likely that the new policy stems from the incident earlier this year when a popular streamer used Homecoming servers to recreate The Hulk and other copyrighted characters, resulting in action from NCsoft (and it’s no wonder NCsoft is touchy about this, given its history of litigation with Marvel). Readers will recall that the servers already block copyright-infringing characters and had previously told players that they streamed at entirely their own risk, suggesting they avoid it entirely while negotiations with NCsoft took place (which is why we put a halt to ours). It is our understanding that negotiations are still ongoing.
We’ve reached out to multiple members on the Homecoming team for clarification on what the precise penalty for violation is, as well as when it’s expected to lift, what the motivation was, and whether it will extend to cover things like screenshots. We’ll update when we have complete answers.
In the meantime, expect people to test the limits themselves. “This is gourmet troll food,” as MOP’s Chris put it earlier.