Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Riot Games 'Disappointed' After Weird Shutdown Notice Of League Of Legends Fan Project Goes Public

The League of Legends community was riled up earlier this week when a fan-driven League of Legends project was shut down by Riot Games. While shutdown notices are nothing new, what caused the widespread disharmony was how a Riot representative approached communication with the project called Chronoshift. Under the name 'Riot Zed,' the representative was incredibly offputting, needlessly aggressive, and honestly? Really cheesy. When the email correspondence went public, the community reacted, and now Riot Games is responding to how the employee handled the entire situation, claiming a sense of "disappointment" over the encounter. 

For those that may be unfamiliar with this fan project, Chronoshift is/was a legacy server that allowed players to go back to an older version of League that they enjoyed. The original shutdown email can be seen here, but further correspondence reveals straight-up weird old school mob verbiage, making the entire exchange about a legal notice inappropriately comical: 

Neckbeard LoL developer "Zed" extorts indie mod developers of the Chronoshift project. I'm dying.

After the above Discord conversation was sent over to Riot's legal team to confirm its authenticity, the company confirmed that the takedown notice was real and echoed a previous takedown notice sent to the Chronoshift team back in 2020. That being said, the way it was handled is anything but what Riot was wanting, saying, "Regarding the exchange with Riot Zed, we're disappointed with the tenor of the conversation and we'll be addressing this internally," reads a recent statement from Riot to Eurogamer. "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."

Additional context from one of the members that worked on Chronoshift shows less of an angry reaction from their team, and more of a disappointed one. As spotted by the siteone person working on this project weighed in, saying, "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," one developer said on Reddit. "To our best knowledge, and the assessment of the lawyers specialised in IT copyright we talked the project over with, we have not done anything illegal."

They added, "We have been working on this project for almost five years and thousands of hours," the post continued. "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 cannot be experienced anymore, a time capsule for something long gone that people still express a lot of interest in to this day."

While the takedown is, and shouldn't have been, a surprise, there needs to be professionalism when this type of correspondence is concerned. How 'Riot Zed' handled the entire situation reflects poorly on them, and Riot by association. Now that the company is taking to "more formal channels" for the takedown of Chronoshift, this fan project looks to finally have met its end. Which is a shame, legacy servers are a phenomenal way to keep the community engaged and longtime fans still interested in a property. While the issues with these fan-driven servers are understandable, I hope that this means that perhaps Riot will look into possibly creating an official legacy server in its own right. It would be even better if they hired on some of the talented fans that made up the Chronoshift project. 

Thoughts on how Riot Games handled the takedown of Chronoshift? Thoughts on how Chronoshift responded? Sound off in the comment section below and tell us what you think should happen next. 

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