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 www.worldofstarcraft.proboards.com 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):
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.
AND I'M HERE TO DELIVER
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