Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Blizzard Is Warning Streamers About This Game

Streamers who want to play retro game Rock N' Roll Racing may want to turn off the game's iconic music before going live, according to a new suggestion from Blizzard over the weekend.

"PSA: If you stream Rock N' Roll Racing from the Blizzard Arcade Collection, the game has a soundtrack of licensed music which is not cleared for streaming," said Adam Fletcher, a community development lead for Blizzard, in a tweet on Friday, Feb. 19. "If you choose to stream, please do so with the music turned off."


To celebrate the company's 30th anniversary, Blizzard announced the release of the Blizzard Arcade Collection during the first day of BlizzCon 2021. The collection includes three games from Blizzard's early years: Rock N' Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings, and Blackthorne, and it will be available for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch for $30.

As the name suggests, Rock N' Roll Racing included a chiptune soundtrack of several classic rock songs from artists such as Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Although the game's songs are arcade-style covers of the original tracks, they are still licensable songs — and are therefore prone to copyright strikes.


In response to Fletcher's tweet, fans mostly expressed frustration over the recent uptick in DMCA takedowns and warnings from streaming platforms. One streamer tweeted in reply, "Then what's the point of playing it ... That's like muting the music on Guitar Hero." Another wrote, "That's so sad because the music is what makes that game. No content there, just private play."

In the last year, Twitch streamers have scrambled to protect themselves from DMCA takedowns on Twitch, as the streaming platform becomes increasingly more careful regarding the use of licensed content, especially music. Blizzard itself was hit with some bizarre audio issues on Twitch during BlizzCon 2021 when it broadcasted a live performance from Metallica on Feb. 19. Due to the nature of the digital convention, Metallica was only able to perform for a live-streaming audience. But about 13 seconds into the band's performance of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" on the Twitch Gaming Channel, the audio suddenly cut to a decidedly non-Metallica song, seemingly in an attempt to avoid a copyright issue.

Basically, Rock N' Roll Racing is just the latest game to be impacted by the fear of DMCA takedowns. Until Twitch finds another solution with the license holders, streamers' best bet is to avoid playing licensed music at all costs.