Riot sends a cease-and-desist to a fan-made legacy server called Chronoshift. The server was a 10-year-old version of League of Legends, from a time before many classic characters and maps were reworked and updated.
Riot stepped up their efforts following a Reddit post from a Chronoshift developer. The post showed a Discord conversation between a Riot employee named Zed and a Chronoshift developer named Lord Lothendran. Early in the conversation, Zed states “The Riot Games Legal team isn’t super thrilled about your project unfortunately and is looking for a way to the acceptable end to it.” The talks collapse quickly as Zed threatens with “…You’ve obviously put a lot of work into Chrono shift, but I assure you that the Chrono break is coming.”
On Reddit, the Chronoshift Dev account claimed the “Today, Riot Games security department has contacted us, and tried to extort us into handing over our code and website to them.” They posted the Discord screen grab and later an email from a Riotgames.com account. They go on to claim they have not done anything illegal. Reiterating that this project is the preservation of an earlier season that can not be played anymore.
This debate is sounds familiar to the gaming industry. Blizzard had gone after some fan-made servers as well. The servers were home to a “vanilla” version of World of Warcraft, from before the many updates and expansions. Blizzard met with some of these server developers, most notably Nostalrius. In the end, the servers were closed and Blizzard made their own version called World of Warcraft Classic.
The benefits to a legacy server created by the original developers are continuous maintenance, better stability, and the polish of a larger budget. Unfortunately, this is not free. WoW Classic is $15 a month and includes the modern version of the game. The old legacy servers were free for the players. The question is, is that fair? The developers put the time and money into the creation of the product, but they have abandoned that product for a more modern version.
There is no easy answer to who is right. Personally, I have stopped playing League of Legends due to the many changes to the game. I must admit, when I first heard this story, my reaction was excitement and I wanted to try Chronoshift. But if Riot were to embrace a legacy service, like Blizzard, I would happily support them. Do you think Riot should leave Chronoshift alone or start their own server? Let us know in the comments below.
Riot has told Eurogamer.com that they are disappointed by their employee Zed’s conversation. They also claim they warned the Chronoshift team to stop development over a year ago.
“Yesterday our legal counsel sent the Chronoshift 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.”Riot statement to Eurogamer.com