Riot shuts down fan-made League of Legends legacy project, denies complaints of extortion

Author : kdania214
Publish Date : 2021-04-28 09:07:24
Riot shuts down fan-made League of Legends legacy project, denies complaints of extortion

Riot Games has confirmed that it sent a formal cease-and-desist letter to the operations of Chronoshift, a fan-operated League of Legends "legacy server" that enabled fans to play a ten-year-old version of the game. It denied an accusation on Reddit that it attempted to "extort" the developers, however, saying that its policies regarding such things are clearly laid out in its legal guidelines—and that it warned them not to go ahead with the project when it was announced last year.

"Hijacking to say please don't do this," Riot Gene wrote in response to the Chronoshift announcement in 2020. "We have very simple and easy to read policies around developing products around Riot Games. Please read the Legal Jibber Jabber (yes that's what it's called) and the policies on developer.riotgames.com."

The project went ahead anyway until the past weekend, when the Chronoshiftdev account posted a message saying the developers had been contacted by Riot's security department, who "tried to extort us into handing over our code and website to them."

"We have been working on this project for almost 5 years and thousands of hours," Chronoshiftdev wrote. "We never asked for even as much as a donation during all of this time, paying all of the expenses out of our pockets. We have refused and banned people that offered us thousands of dollars to gain access to the project."

The message includes a link to a screen capture of a conversation with Zed, someone claiming to be a member of Riot's security department employee. It starts off well enough, saying that Riot's legal team "isn't super thrilled about your project unfortunately and is looking for a way to come to a mutually acceptable end to it." 

But the tone changes quickly when the developer involved refuses to immediately play ball: Zed first implies that Riot is watching the Chronoshift team's actions in real time (including purported efforts to delete chat channels), and then makes a flat demand for the chronoshift.dev website, the source code, and all identifiable information that had been shared with other developers.

"Give me what I'm looking for and we won't sue. Refuse and we will," they said. "I'm not interested in dragging this out. If you feel you'd like to speak to legal representation you are certainly capable of doing so. I'm on the security team. I find people and things. I don't practice law and have little/nothing to do with any legal proceedings Riot is involved in. We can come to an agreement to end this today or we can both hand this off to counsel. To be honest I don't care either way."

Handing off to counsel is how it ultimately went down: A Riot rep confirmed today that the studio's legal team sent a letter to the Chronoshift developers yesterday, "formally requesting they cease development on the project."
Handing off to counsel is how it ultimately went down: A Riot rep confirmed today that the studio's legal team sent a letter to the Chronoshift developers yesterday, "formally requesting they cease development on the project."

 

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