MMO Business Roundup: Warcraft modding, Valve source code leaks, and Nvidia goes good


Welcome back to another roundup of MMO (and MMO-adjacent) industry news!

Warcraft modding: Polygon has an interesting explainer up on Blizzard’s recent changes to its custom games policy for community modders, apparently made when Warcraft 3 Reforged launched. Blizzard appears to be tightening up its control over custom games and assets to avoid another DOTA-like incident, whereby a mod that was based on Warcraft 3’s spawned a game, genre, and gobs of money for Valve thanks to DOTA 2. “Blizzard is making it extra clear that its ownership of custom games includes ownership of all of the copyrightable, creative elements contained in those custom games,” the copyright attorney cited says. “Hypothetically, Blizzard could have the ability to take legal action against stand-alone games that are heavily inspired by, or derivative of, custom games on the grounds that those stand-alone games are infringing upon Blizzard’s copyright.” Similarly, the new verbiage grants Blizzard the right to own, “modify, use, and exploit [custom content] without crediting you in any way.”

Steam: Valve released its monthly roundup of the top releases for the platform in March, and there are actually several notable-for-MMO-players games on the list, including co-op space sandbox MMO Avorion (which our own previewer loved!) and the woodpunk survival sandbox MMO Last Oasis.

Valve: This week, internet denizens managed to leak the entirety of the source code for Team Fortress 2 and CSGO, causing a momentary flurry of panic that it might be exploitable – some community servers even temporarily went offline just in case. Valve, however, has since examined the code and said it’s several years old, a repository meant for partners in 2017. “From this review, we have not found any reason for players to be alarmed or avoid the current builds (as always, playing on the official servers is recommended for greatest security),” Valve told PCGN.

Nvidia: Hey look, a company that isn’t behaving horribly in the pandemic! GIbiz reports that the tech giant is accelerating raises and not laying off any employees. “We can put tens of millions of more dollars in the hands of our families in the coming months,” CEO Jensen H Huang wrote. Yesterday, we covered SuperData’s global revenue report, which showed huge spikes for gaming companies around the world, so it won’t surprise anyone to learn that Russian games operator My.Games is doing pretty peachy too. notes that several of its online titles as well as its store have seen huge increases in players; Conqueror’s Blade, for example, saw a 267% increase in new registrations.

Epic Games: Epic Games is angling for a funding round. According to Bloomberg, the corporation is seeking a valuation “significantly higher” than $15 billion. Fortnite, you’ll recall, has been sinking in the global revenue rankings for a while now, but it’s surely will pulling in plenty o’ cash.

League of Legends: Finally, Riot Games has gone ahead and canceled the Mid-Season Invitational. It was originally set for May but delayed until July thanks to the pandemic. Now, the company says it won’t run it at all, likely because running an international competition – when the competitors are spread out across the world under quarantine – isn’t likely to result in a fair outcome.

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