IN A NUTSHELL:
- Riot Games demanded the removal of the fan project Chronoshift, which aimed to recreate the old version of League of Legends;
- One of studio's employees issued various threats against the Chronoshift team member and demanded that they hand over several years of work, internal communications and control of the website;
- When the conversation was made public on Reddit, the company admitted that it "regrets the tone of the conversation" but is not changing its mind about the project;
- Riot Games' lawyers were involved, and the Chronoshift project was officially canceled.
Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, once again found themselves taking flak from the community. This time the controversy concerns the fan project Chronoshift, which aimed to recreate the classic version of the popular MOBA game. The company demanded that the creators cease all work on the project, which in itself is not unusual. However, doubts were raised about the style in which this was done, which came to light when the conversation involving one of Riot Games' employees on Discord was published on Reddit.
Riot Games and their methods
According to critics, Riot Zed - who introduces himself as a member of the security team - uses a tone that could just as easily fit into a gangster movie. Both explicit and veiled threats can be seen in the conversation, and the demands themselves are questionable - Riot Games wanted all source code and control of the Chronoshift website, for example. Zed was also interested in what the various people involved in the project were talking about and the division of responsibilities between them. According to Chronoshift devs, the company gives the impression of wanting to profit from their work for free.
"Instead of opening a conversation about the future and interest in this kind of project, they attempted what could be seen as an attempt to take advantage of our work for free and start taking legal action against us. To our best knowledge, and the assessment of the lawyers specialized in IT copyright we talked the project over with, we have not done anything illegal.
We have been working on this project for almost 5 years and thousands of hours. We never asked for even as much a donation during all of this time, paying all of the expenses out of our pockets. This project has always been about the preservation of the early seasons of the game that can not be experienced anymore, a time capsule for something long gone that people still express a lot of interest in to this day," reads the thread on Reddit.
Chronoshift canceled. The company regrets how it was done
What does Riot Games say in the matter? The studio said that it regrets the way its employee tried to solve the problem, but maintains its position on the Chronoshift project. The company also stressed that the people responsible for the project were already asked a year ago to cease work.
"Yesterday our legal counsel sent theChronoshift development team a letter formally requesting they cease development on the project. This follows an explicit request our developer relations team made a year ago when the project was first announced.
We understand the Chronoshift team is disappointed, but they shouldn't be surprised by our request. Regarding the exchange with Riot Zed, we're disappointed with the tenor of the conversation and we'll be addressing this internally. We often attempt good faith reach-outs prior to issuing legal documentation. In this case, however, given the Chronoshift team's response, we have proceeded through more formal channels," reads the statement sent to the editors of Eurogamer.
The conversation with Riot Zed did not yield results, and promptly devs of Chronoshift were contacted by Riot Games' lawyers. After their intervention, the project was officially terminated, which its developers informed of in an announcement. They emphasize that their version of LoL has never been released to the public, and that the old version of the client can be easily downloaded from the official website - although they admit that they did break Riot's terms of service on one point. They also point out certain hypocrisy - while searching for information about them Riot Zed used the Better Discord plugin, which... violates the rules of that platform.
- League of Legends - game guide
- Teamfight Tactics | TFT - game guide
- League of Legends - official website
- Chronoshift - official website