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League Of Legends Accused Of Extorting Fan Project

Video games, contrary to the name, aren't always fun. Recently, Riot Games issued a cease and desist letter to Chronoshift, a fan-created legacy server dedicated to an older, retired version of "League of Legends." Chronoshift sought to recreate classic "League of Legends" in the same way "World of Warcraft Classic" sought to revisit an older game.

Chronoshift developers reported that the team had a conversation with a representative claiming to be from Riot via Discord. Chronoshift devs linked to the conversation on the official Chronoshift site as part of a larger update on the situation. The Riot representative, who goes by "Zed," said that his company wasn't "super thrilled" about the Chronoshift project. Even so, the conversation started innocently enough.

Things quickly took a turn for the worse, with Zed saying, "You've obviously put a lot of work into Chrono shift, but I assure you that the Chrono break is coming." When the Chronoshift developer, whose real name was redacted from the document, attempted to find out how Riot intended to pursue the issue, Zed threatened legal action and demeaned the legal strategy Chronoshift devs published on their site in an attempt to avoid this situation in the first place. "Give me what I'm looking for and we won't sue. Refuse and we will," the representative said. 

Zed also hinted that they were able to view multiple channels on the developers' private discord. While it's not entirely clear from the exchange, PC Gamer notes that developers may have attempted to delete conversations and files before the conversation began, as referenced by Zed. 

The conversation preceded a formal letter from Riot, which was much more formal and legally binding. The cease and desist letter, published by PCGamer, demanded that Chronoshift developers hand over the source code for the project and shut down the server.

In a Reddit post updating the Chronoshift community about the incident, one developer said that they felt that Riot games attempted to extort the Chronoshift team with threats and various scare tactics. Redditors were quick to respond with comments on Zed's demeanor, with some calling him unprofessional. Another poster suggested that because Zed was not a legal representative of Riot, his threats were the equivalent of blackmail or extortion. 

Some Chronoshift fans speculated that Riot intended to use the source code for itself. After all, Riot has publicly stated in the past that it could not get older versions of "League of Legends" to work on updated hardware, ruining the chance for a legacy version of the game. 

On Chronoshift's website, developers explained that Chronoshift was never accessible to the general public, and that the game was a private project intended to show fan interest in a legacy version of "League of Legends." The Chronoshift devs also claimed that Riot had offered numerous bribes, all of which they turned down. 

Considering Riot's recent efforts to curb toxic behavior online, it's interesting to read the Chronoshift case and Riot's interactions with the Chronoshift developers.