Modders create World of StarCraft, pre-alpha trailer inside

By on January 19, 2011, 5:48 AM
Update: Activision Blizzard has sent a cease and desist notice to YouTube in order to remove the videos showing off the mod. According to various sources, Blizzard's intention is not to stop the project itself, but to protect their properties names, whether they plan to work on a "World of Starcraft" game in the future is anyone's best guess.

A StarCraft version of Blizzard's World of Warcraft has been rumored and begged for by thousands of people. At every BlizzCon, gamers ask to see the massively multiplayer online success of World of Warcraft ported to the Starcraft universe. Is Blizzard already doing so, and if not, why not?

One group of modders got tired of all the speculation, and decided to take things into their own hands. Using StarCraft II's powerful map editor, the team created a World of StarCraft game mode, currently in "pre-alpha." See for yourself what they've accomplished:

"This is a pre-alpha trailer for the unfinished Ghost class in World of Starcraft," reads the video's description. "By no means is this a finished product. This is merely a proof of concept and progression. No announced release Date. Game by RyanWin. Music by Maverlyn. Please visit for further details or inquiry. Winzen Productions is not directly affiliated with Blizzard Entertainment, we're merely using their engine and assets."

Over on the unofficial World of Starcraft forum, RyanWin posted an open letter to Blizzard. After reading it, all we can say is that we hope the company is understanding, does not take legal action, and allows the project to grow. In case it is removed at some point, we've posted it in full below (it's worth the read):

Dear Blizzard,

Thankyou for coming all this way in your nice suit to my crummy forum. I'm guessing you're a little upset with me right now, or maybe you're happy. I don't know.

You created a tool that allowed us to do anything with your assets. You encouraged us to use your assets and were eager to see what we might come up with. You had to have seen this coming?

I know it's hard to trust someone you've never met to piggyback on your own legacy. The brilliance of Starcraft combined with the multiplayer focus of World of Warcraft. You might be a little worried about your lore being butchered... or even more-so worried about a guy with no supervision tainting the name of your company with poor product.

Let me assure you that I am in no way shape or form going to deliver anything less than complete perfection. I've been following your work since Warcraft. I've worked with every editor you've put out since I was 13 years old.

I'm 25 now and I've never made a single penny from any of my artwork. I exist only to entertain people and make this world we live in a more colorful and exciting place. I'm not even a programmer. I hate programming. I'm a charcoal artist.

But ever since I was very young it has always been my dream in life to create an epic game for people to enjoy. I'm just trying to finally get my name out there and show people what I can do.

This market is so oversaturated right now and you guys get thousands of applicants every month. Most guys who do get a job working in video games right now are driven like slaves working with little creative control. But you know what... I'm a virgin in the industry. Because my talent has never tasted a penny, I remember the core of gaming. I remember the heart of gaming, and I know what people love.


If you have a problem with what I am doing... or would like to talk about it. I'm all ears. But please don't send me some messenger with a cease and desist letter. I'm aware of the similiarities between this situation and FreeCraft.

This game holds possibilities for both of us. The custom maps sector is dying out, and less and less people are logging into SC2 NA. I truly believe this is a step in the right direction.

Furthermore, if you like this idea and would be willing to grant me a seal of approval to continue... that would be wonderful. I won't let you down.

~Cordially, Ryan Winzen

User Comments: 26

Got something to say? Post a comment
TeamworkGuy2 said:

Very cool.

Can't wait to see how Blizzard will react, and if this mod takes off.

veedubguy said:

Looks very promising! Keep up the good work and lets see what kind of action Blizzard takes!

Guest said:


this is the coolest thing since the first WoW

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wow...what a great job! This guy has too much talent - some gaming company will pick him up. And it looks more like MechWarriors to me than WoW.

emmzo said:

I doubt Blizzard is ever going to approve that, in fact I doubt any sane company is ever going to let anybody, no matter how talented to take credit for their modded work, but the guy is good and he might just land himself a job. Congratz!

Guest said:

Added as a fun art-like or something,but don't even think making business with Blizzard

Second,as he said "The brilliance of Starcraft combined with the multiplayer focus of World of Warcraft" ......yes and? Starcraft is brilliant because of its real-strategy gaming style and World of Warcraft,the reason why is popular is because, ..of course game play but also by its lore and community

Don't expect by forging two blockbusters like SC & WoW into one game will have their success

I liked the idea of World of StarCraft

I don't know anything about how to make something like that,but it looks awesome!

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Blizzard prob. already sent out the cease and desist order, these companies don't care about you or anyone else it's all about money. They don't want any free mod version cutting into WoW's $. As long as you don't make a profit, legally they can't touch you.

Guest said:

I don't understand how Blizzard can legally send this order, This guy has done NOTHING WRONG. The tools he used were supplied by Blizzard, Blizzard themselves stated they were keen to see what people would do and the mods they'd make.

He's done exactly What Blizzard asked him to (and done a spectacular job too I might add)

He can't be breaking any royalty, or copyright infringments because he's not selling this game, he's creating a mod. Mods have been around for decades and some have been truly marvelous and the game companies can't lose -it extends the life of their original game (you generally have to own the game to run the mod) - it reinvents and revitalises their audience.

The original starcraft game came with an editor and I remember loving the Tower Defence Games - 6 player coop against the ravinging Zerg.. There were RPGs made too..

Clearly Blizzard have upped the game editor big time with Starcraft II but this 1 guy, 1 fan, doing something he loves with a game he loves, not for profit, but for fun, the sheer "because I can" idealogy.

I wouldn't be suprised if this was simply a bored, pen pushing toss pot at Blizzard's legal team, getting bored one day and decided to flex his muscles, to show everyone how big he is.. Blizzard as a company have their head screwed on, the real (non legal) guy probably didn't this was happening and I'll bet that in a couple of days, they change their tune big time. I mean really, 1 guy has done all that.. they'd be crazy NOT to employ him and keep him working on it.

Blizzard's lawyers are clearly ******, the "real" Blizzard are the opposite. If I'm wrong and they do stifle this guy's talent. I swear I'll never buy another blizzard game as long as I live (and I pretty much own everything they've ever made thus far)

Guest said:

Dude, you do realize that World of Warcraft comes from the Warcraft universe, a fantasy-rts, Starcraft is just it's scifi counterpart... besides rumors do be floating about that Blizzard is working on it's own sci-fi MMORPG

Emin3nce said:

Knowing blizzcorp, they'll have the guy carted off in a van and all of his computers destroyed. Corporations don't like you stealing their 'future ideas' who knows, their overall marketing plan may involve waiting to release a "World of Starcraft" game 5 - 6 years in the future... And this would be directly ******* with their own plans. Just Saying. Yeah great, you made a game. Blizzard has the right, and not even in a monolithic corporate kind of way, they have the basic right to reserve the construction of such a game.

Guest said:

It seems to me that Blizzard's best bet is to give this guy an entry level job on the World of Starcraft team. If there isn't one, pay him to create conceptual art and pump out ideas.

That'd turn bad publicity into good in a hurry and reward rather than punish a dedicated and talented fan. Not to mention get a skilled person on their payroll.

CamaroMullet said:

Blizzard owns the software and the rights the guy is using. I'm sure he is pretty much safe playing around with the software. Only if he tries to get paid off of it, then well, he is screwed. He knows this going into it.

Blizzard is not a "bad" or "evil" company. Just like every other software co., they spend the millions creating the software, they'd be stupid NOT to protect it. Who knows, maybe this guy will land a job. He's got a great idea, but hopefully it's not just a big waste of time.

Guest said:

The only thing I can possibly see them having the rights to send a C&D on would be the name "World of Starcraft" as they probably already have filed for a trademark on that or something similar, or could argue its too close to World of Warcraft and could be misleading, sounding like it's an official Blizzard product.

Guest said:

You all are missing the bigger picture here;

1) Starcraft and Warcraft are trademarked. Blizzard HAS to "defend" their trademark, or they risk losing it.

2) Blizz has spent untold amounts building a brand, or in this case, brands. The brands are their most valuable assets, not the games themselves. This dude is monkeying around with their most valuable asset. Much like with trademark, they have HAVE to been seen protecting their brand, regardless of what they want.

Is it fair? No, but that's the legal system for you.

Guest said:

My guess is that blizzard will hire them. I hope. For the good of humanity.

Guest said:

You forget one thing.

Blizzard already gave us permission to use their modding and mapping tools to make mods for their game.

Starcraft's success is augmented by the ability to mod, and the actual mods made by the modders.

A service provided at no charge at all.

Being an ******* within the confines of the law still means they are being an *******.

How about trying to stop being a company and instead, a group of human beings?

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

this is a nice work, this guy can't & shouldn't try to release it to the public for even if using legal material as provided by the publisher, like most replied, it's a legal / brand issue so if he created let say a whole new game with unknown characters using the engine, i'm sure he would be praised for that. all he can do now is keep the mod for himself & allow blizzard to either help him out by enrolling him or not sue him for distributing copyrighted concept / trademark (can't for creation / possession here)

anyway i would encourage him in doing the same game with new textures & see what happens, it just shows how good he is in doing this & i hope someone hires him.


Guest said:

Unless he plans on selling the product, the only thing Blizzard can do is ask him to change the name. This has been legally challenged before under the Fair Use statutes and the defendant(s) won. The actual case was Nintendo vs. Lewis Galoob Toys, I believe, and the court decided that "Having paid Nintendo a fair return, the consumer may experiment with the product and create new variations of play, for personal enjoyment, without creating a derivative work."

Not to mention the glaring facts that they included an Editor with the game, as well as 'asked' the community to create modifications.

Guest said:

You know, there's always an alternative to "defending" trademarks, and that's to license them, perhaps freely.

Guest said:

To the person who posted this:

"Second,as he said "The brilliance of Starcraft combined with the multiplayer focus of World of Warcraft" ......yes and? Starcraft is brilliant because of its real-strategy gaming style and World of Warcraft,the reason why is popular is because, ..of course game play but also by its lore and community

Don't expect by forging two blockbusters like SC & WoW into one game will have their success"

Kinda like Blizzard did w/ Everquest and Warcraft? Because that's EXACTLY what they did. Remember, WarCraft was an RTS LONG before they even thought about it being an MMO.

Just sayin.

The genre has been wanting a "DECENT" sci-fi mmo for a while now.

Guest said:

There is no way a couple of people can make a better game than a company like blizzard, so I don't see the point if this is just fan made. It could be just publicity for them.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Why do you think Blizz would make a sci-fi MMO? Many people don't have the time or money for two MMO games and Blizz would canabalize a LOT of their WoW players. It's no accident SC2 was released admist a huge downturn in the WoW release schedule (at the end of an expansion). SC2's next expansion will most likely be released about 4-6 months before WoW's so people can play both.

And if all your best people are working on WoW, how can you make another? Hire more? We don't know the budget for WoW, maybe that's not possible. A successful MMO is terribly difficult to pull off, and Blizz doesn't like half-assing their games. How'd that star wars MMO turn out? Isn't there a new one coming too?

Did anyone read about TITAN? The code name for the supposed new Blizz MMO due out in a few years? Maybe that's a Starcraft MMO, and maybe Blizz wants to control people's expectations on their eventual product? There's a lot we don't know.

Guest said:

This is amazing work, but I think there is a need to do something like EA did with it's Red Alert series. I think Renegade was an amazing game, and needed some updates. Shoot if they did it right they could mix what used to be an RTS into a FPS with Vehicles like Renegade, but put in some sort of Human vs Human "servers" on the MMO to allow for Renegade style play, and the rest could just be a regular MMO with quests/missions and rewards. Possibly even affecting what you can do in the Human servers. Just a thought. It's amazing to me that even after 13 years that Renegade still has servers up and running, and there hasn't been an update in a long time. There are just people that love the game. Love all the dynamics associated with it!

Anyways... great work on the mod. I hope they don't shut you down. It does seem they are concerned more with the name. Warcraft used to be just Warcraft so if there are rumors of a Starcraft MMO, I'm sure it would be World of Starcraft.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents + some.


Guest said:

i actually would assume Blizzard has a team of programmers already on this for sometime now. These companies plan VERY far in the future in terms of what to do next.

Guest said:

As awesome as this is, I don't think Mr. Bobby Kotick will allow this to happen.

Guest said:

This project is still being developed. I have created an informative Q&A about our project: Starcraft Universe (formerly known as World of Starcraft). Here is our new site:


Moderator of the Starcraft Universe forums

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