A talented gamer named Ryan Winzen created a new MMO for the PC. Utilizing Blizzard’s Starcraft 2 map editor, Ryan envisioned a very plausible World of Starcraft. Ryan is not an employee at Blizzard/Activision, he’s simply a dedicated fan with a handful of ideas. Last week he posted a video of his mod in action which soon went viral. After the 4th day up, Activision/Blizzard had YouTube pull the plug on the video. Luckily you can still view the trailer here. Enjoy!
Blizzard contacted Ryan the same night as his video was removed. The problem arose from the fact that Blizzard owns copyright to the name “World of Starcraft” and may do with it as they please. Some Blizzard employees also worried Ryan was developing parts of his game outside of their software as a full blown MMORPG.
To be clear, Blizzard does not want to stop the progress of this mod. They simply had the video removed until they could contact the developer. Ryan has teamed up with the owner and creator of a separate mod called Starcraft Universe. The two have agreed to continue Ryan’s work in a combined effort under the new name.
In response to what happened, this was posted on Ryan’s forum:
“Thank you everyone for expressing your interest for this custom map project. Recently, this idea has been blown out of proportion. Let me clarify a few things: – World of Starcraft name is changed to Starcraft Universe. – This project is not a true mmorpg; There will be no background story, no quest system, no world exploring or mob grinding. – This project will be made and published through a series of Starcraft 2 maps. To play, you MUST have a valid copy of Starcraft 2 and have a Battle.net account. – Similar to dungeon raiding in WoW, a party of players must carefully battle through high powered monsters and defeat a boss. – Players may create and save multiple customizable character classes – Players using existing characters may ‘evolve’ (not level up) them using loot and attribute points gained from battles.”
Ryan hopes to continue making his SC2 custom map mod now that he has a new name, Blizzard’s blessing and a little help from the community. Though the game is still in its early stages Ryan has plans to keep the monotony out of his creation. Citing the long arduous grind on the road to raiding as one of the MMO genre’s major flaws, Ryan hopes to allow players to jump into 10 man boss fights asap.
Something else came out of the controversy Ryan started which he had not expected. He was contacted by a gaming company asking him to apply for a position at their company. Riot Games (makers of League of Legends) sent a message to Ryan after being impressed by his video. You can read his response to the YouTube debacle and new found interest from Riot Games on his site:
Now Blizzard’s editing programs are powerful tools but Ryanwin has pushed “custom game” to a whole new level. Using exclusively Blizzard’s resources, World of Tron Zealots looks more polished than certain “finished” games I’ve played in the past. Ryan and friends are one of the best examples of what players can accomplish when given access to industry tools.
Ryan and others are busily discussing raid ideas, hiring mercenaries, pvp battles and getting a playable demo up and running daily. You can keep up to date on his plans, volunteer your help or simply troll his forums over at http://www.worldofstarcraft.proboards.com/index.cgi.