Blizzard Legally Opposes Valve Trademark Over DOTA Name [Up: Trial Schedule]

Dec 5, 2008
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Nov 15, 2011
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It's at least as much of a problem as Valve owning it. The mark going to anyone means that the community loses the ability to use it freely except at the discretion of the owner. And Blizzard's track record with unlicensed use of their games isn't too hot lately. I don't think I have to spell out what sort of financial interest they would have in taking exclusive control of a rapidly rising e-sport.
The mark being owned by Blizzard retains that the community of Blizzard stays with the community it was made by and for. I don't see the problem with this.

As for the link you have posted. There's a difference of unlicensed use of a franchise than the unlicensed use of a mod.
 
May 13, 2008
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Thats assuming that once Blizzard gets the marks that they don't change their view on how DOTA operates.

If Blizzard officially owns DOTA, whats from stopping them from closing up the community and making a DOTA standalone game that sits aside Diablo, WoW, and SC?

There isn't anything indicating that Blizzard will take the marks and do "nothing" with them (Granted there isn't much showing that they would either).
 
Nov 15, 2011
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Thats assuming that once Blizzard gets the marks that they don't change their view on how DOTA operates.

If Blizzard officially owns DOTA, whats from stopping them from closing up the community and making a DOTA standalone game that sits aside Diablo, WoW, and SC?

There isn't anything indicating that Blizzard will take the marks and do "nothing" with them (Granted there isn't much showing that they would either).
And here is where the issue is in it's most naked form. There's nothing suggesting Blizzard will do anything with the marks nor is there anything suggesting they won't. Unlike Valve whose intention is loud and clear to commercialize it.
 
Oct 9, 2007
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And here is where the issue is in it's most naked form. There's nothing suggesting Blizzard will do anything with the marks nor is there anything suggesting they won't.
No? If they don't intend to do anything with the marks, why pursue them? Get them made part of the public domain and let the community go on as it has.

No publicly-traded business in the world is going to just sit on such a valuable IP out of the goodness of their hearts.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Take into acc the lost subscription accs from WoW in the past years, I'd say the scenario is relatively the same.
They also released SC2 during that period though. Either way, I think that it's disingenuous to suggest that the community benefits of Blizzcon are anything more than a side-effect as far as the company is concerned. It's a marketing event which people pay money to attend.

And here is where the issue is in it's most naked form. There's nothing suggesting Blizzard will do anything with the marks nor is there anything suggesting they won't. Unlike Valve whose intention is loud and clear to commercialize it.
And on the flip-side, there's nothing suggesting that Valve wish to commercialise it under an exclusive usage arrangement. They just want the legal protection afforded by the name being officially deemed trademarked, I honestly believe that they will agree with Blizzard that the name DOTA belongs in the public domain as long as they're covered legally.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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They also released SC2 during that period though. Either way, I think that it's disingenuous to suggest that the community benefits of Blizzcon are anything more than a side-effect as far as the company is concerned. It's a marketing event which people pay money to attend.



And on the flip-side, there's nothing suggesting that Valve wish to commercialise it under an exclusive usage arrangement. They just want the legal protection afforded by the name being officially deemed trademarked, I honestly believe that they will agree with Blizzard that the name DOTA belongs in the public domain as long as they're covered legally.
I really doubt the community benefits of Blizzcon is a side effect. The community benefits of Blizzcon is why Blizzcon exists in the first place. Just because you get a little more income off it doesn't mean the priorities suddenly do a swap.

Blizzard is not Activision despite being owned by Activision Blizzard (which Vivendi has the majority share in).

No? If they don't intend to do anything with the marks, why pursue them? Get them made part of the public domain and let the community go on as it has.

No publicly-traded business in the world is going to just sit on such a valuable IP out of the goodness of their hearts.
The only DOTA-affiliated project Blizzard has on at the moment is Blizzard DOTA. Now honestly, do you see Blizzard DOTA standing alone as an entirely different franchise than Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft (not to mention the new IP being dubbed as Titan atm)?
 
Oct 9, 2007
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The only DOTA-affiliated project Blizzard has on at the moment is Blizzard DOTA. Now honestly, do you see Blizzard DOTA standing alone as an entirely different franchise than Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft (not to mention the new IP being dubbed as Titan atm)?
Blizzard DOTA, no. I also think they'd be silly to begin development on a major game without having the rights on lockdown the way Valve did. And if they do get the rights, I fully expect them to begin a major project that isn't a mod as quickly as possible.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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Blizzard DOTA, no. I also think they'd be silly to begin development on a major game without having the rights on lockdown the way Valve did. And if they do get the rights, I fully expect them to begin a major project that isn't a mod as quickly as possible.
Quickly as possible? Blizzard is already juggling the E-Sport scene with StarCraft, World of Warcraft, and upcoming Diablo, not to mention the Titan proejct. Yeah Blizzard is ambitious but they are aware of their capabilities (AKA StarCraft: Ghost).

If Blizzard is ever going to capitalize on DotA it will be in the future where Valve already releases Dota 2.
 
Jan 9, 2012
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Don't pretend to know the legalities of this case. For one, the original DOTA was a WCIII mode, on Battle.net. IceFrog likely agreed to a EULA when he uploaded his DOTA mod to bnet that indicated that Blizzard wholely owned the rights to the names of products on its system.

Sound crazy?

Clauses like that are in just about all EULAs out there. If something like this existed when the first DOTA was uploaded to Battlenet long ago, Valve is out of luck and is going to either pay up or rename the game.
Does that also mean Blizzard legally owns the Souls of everyone who's played WoW? That was in their EULA aswell at one point.
 
Dec 22, 2006
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"Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark registered in the Patent and Trademark Office, or a mark or trade name previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned..."

"Or" in the English language indicates separation of the clauses to be unrelated. Now the phrase after "Or" is used is

"a mark or trade name previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned..."

Now where in that part says the mark/trade name has to be registered formally?

----

Link to the section in question http://www.bitlaw.com/source/15usc/1052.html
What a strange post. I did not say that it must be registered formally... In fact, I went out of my way to highlight the part that states that a company can oppose a trademark if they have another mark commonly in use (but not registered). This is exactly the avenue that Blizzard is taking in their opposition, and it is precisely why they are invoking the EULA in their argument. If Blizzard actually had a registered trademark (not pending, but granted) for DOTA they would have just stated so, almost certainly received a suspension, and we would not be having this conversation.

I get the feeling you don't understand this conversation. The salient point is why Blizzard thinks they deserve protection from Valve's attempt to register a trademark for DOTA.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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What a strange post. I did not say that it must be registered formally... In fact, I went out of my way to highlight the part that states that a company can oppose a trademark if they have another mark commonly in use (but not registered). This is exactly the avenue that Blizzard is taking in their opposition, and it is precisely why they are invoking the EULA in their argument. If Blizzard actually had a registered trademark (not pending, but granted) for DOTA they would have just stated so, almost certainly received a suspension, and we would not be having this conversation.

I get the feeling you don't understand this conversation. The salient point is why Blizzard thinks they deserve protection from Valve's attempt to register a trademark for DOTA.
You've stated that Blizzard's position has nothing to do with the community. My point is that it is, maybe not entirely but the message of the community is there (7 years of goodwill).

Hence the purpose of me dissecting the actual grammar in the post.
 
May 13, 2008
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Quickly as possible? Blizzard is already juggling the E-Sport scene with StarCraft, World of Warcraft, and upcoming Diablo, not to mention the Titan proejct. Yeah Blizzard is ambitious but they are aware of their capabilities (AKA StarCraft: Ghost).

If Blizzard is ever going to capitalize on DotA it will be in the future where Valve already releases Dota 2.
Using SC:G as a reason they wouldn't make DOTA another pillar is kind of short sighted

1. SC:G they didn't know what they wanted to do with the game in terms of mechanics, gameplay and story
2. They kept changing their minds about elements
3. They finally cancelled it.

DOTA is all but done, its not like they'd have much work to do on it. Commercializing it would be easy for them. The heavy work has already been done.

DOTA would make much dinero from the get go, it already has a rabid community.

If Blizzard was really about the community here, then their main argument should be "we want this to be a public domain mark" instead of we use this, it's ours! That they're currently shiling.

Right now as it stands, Blizzard isn't anymore holier than Valve when it comes to DOTA and the marks.

You can't use the argument that Blizzard is doing this for the community because they let it exist for 7+ years. Because one could EASILY counter with.....Blizzard didn't see the financial stake in DOTA until another company showed them there was one.

Its like saying BP let these people stay on the land for 7 years, they're only going to court with Exxon so that Exxon doesn't take that huge oil reserve below it. BP wants to keep the land for the people.... (shitty analogy but you get the point).
 
Dec 22, 2006
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You've stated that Blizzard's position has nothing to do with the community. My point is that it is, maybe not entirely but the message of the community is there (7 years of goodwill).

Hence the purpose of me dissecting the actual grammar in the post.
Incorrect. I stated that there is nothing in Blizzard's claim that implies ownership of the mark by anyone other than themselves.
 

Ikuu

Had his dog run over by Blizzard's CEO
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Claiming Blizzard cares about their community after the shit they pulled with Battle.net is pretty funny.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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Using SC:G as a reason they wouldn't make DOTA another pillar is kind of short sighted

1. SC:G they didn't know what they wanted to do with the game in terms of mechanics, gameplay and story
2. They kept changing their minds about elements
3. They finally cancelled it.

DOTA is all but done, its not like they'd have much work to do on it. Commercializing it would be easy for them. The heavy work has already been done.

DOTA would make much dinero from the get go, it already has a rabid community.

If Blizzard was really about the community here, then their main argument should be "we want this to be a public domain mark" instead of we use this, it's ours! That they're currently shiling.

Right now as it stands, Blizzard isn't anymore holier than Valve when it comes to DOTA and the marks.

You can't use the argument that Blizzard is doing this for the community because they let it exist for 7+ years. Because one could EASILY counter with.....Blizzard didn't see the financial stake in DOTA until another company showed them there was one.

Its like saying BP let these people stay on the land for 7 years, they're only going to court with Exxon so that Exxon doesn't take that huge oil reserve below it. BP wants to keep the land for the people.... (shitty analogy but you get the point).
Contrary to popular opinion, I sincerely doubt Blizzard is that stupid to not notice the growing community of DotA (they hosted it multiple times in Blizzcon for christ's sake)
 
Dec 22, 2006
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Look again at my original point, I'll restate it for you

"My point is that Blizzard's claim is based partly on the community"

"Belonging" the word in your context implies something to do with the community as it is a possessive action.
You're trying, over and over again, to distract attention from what we have concrete evidence of (Blizzard and Valve's claims filed with the USPTO) toward what we have no concrete evidence of: Blizzard's motivations for their actions. It's not really material whether they're doing this out of the goodness of their hearts or as a way of further monetizing DOTA.

I used the words I used precisely. It's not at all interesting (because it's obvious) that Blizzard mentions the community in their claim. What is interesting to me is the way they describe the relationship between themselves and that community. They describe themselves as the license-holders of properties related to DOTA; the community's relationship to DOTA is explicitly stated as "licensed from Blizzard".

So cherry-picking the word "community" out of my post out of context wastes everyone's time: Mine for correcting your misrepresentation of my position, yours for typing it out, everyone else's for having to read all this. Blizzard may wish happiness and love for their community and plan on giving all assets related to DOTA for free; they may be fighting off Valve because their legal department sees it as their mission to defend the little guy from developers trying to make a profit. I don't know if they do or they don't. In the end, though, it doesn't matter at all to my position: Blizzard claims sole control of the DOTA trademark.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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You're trying, over and over again, to distract attention from what we have concrete evidence of (Blizzard and Valve's claims filed with the USPTO) toward what we have no concrete evidence of: Blizzard's motivations for their actions. It's not really material whether they're doing this out of the goodness of their hearts or as a way of further monetizing DOTA.

I used the words I used precisely. It's not at all interesting (because it's obvious) that Blizzard mentions the community in their claim. What is interesting to me is the way they describe the relationship between themselves and that community. They describe themselves as the license-holders of properties related to DOTA; the community's relationship to DOTA is explicitly stated as "licensed from Blizzard".

So cherry-picking the word "community" out of my post out of context wastes everyone's time: Mine for correcting your misrepresentation of my position, yours for typing it out, everyone else's for having to read all this. Blizzard may wish happiness and love for their community and plan on giving all assets related to DOTA for free; they may be fighting off Valve because their legal department sees it as their mission to defend the little guy from developers trying to make a profit. I don't know if they do or they don't. In the end, though, it doesn't matter at all to my position: Blizzard claims sole control of the DOTA trademark.
Then mayhaps you should've outright stated your position in the first place instead of luring people under false pretenses that Blizzard's claim had nothing to do with the DOTA marks to do with the community.

I've already argued the point of Blizzard's position of ownership over the marks (previous page) so you can look over that as I'm not in the humor to repeat myself in rapid succession.
 
Jan 16, 2009
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No? If they don't intend to do anything with the marks, why pursue them? Get them made part of the public domain and let the community go on as it has.

No publicly-traded business in the world is going to just sit on such a valuable IP out of the goodness of their hearts.
Blizzard already does something with the marks. They've been doing it for years.

If Valve owned the DOTA trademark then Blizzard would have to stop distributing a WC3 mod called "DOTA" on Battle.NET and they would have to stop hosting tournaments or events using the name "DOTA" at Blizzcon. That Valve suddenly and out of the blue applied for ownership of a mark that they clearly didn't create makes no f'ing sense.
 
Apr 12, 2011
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Blizzard already does something with the marks. They've been doing it for years.

If Valve owned the DOTA trademark then Blizzard would have to stop distributing a WC3 mod called "DOTA" on Battle.NET and they would have to stop hosting tournaments or events using the name "DOTA" at Blizzcon. That Valve suddenly and out of the blue applied for ownership of a mark that they clearly didn't create makes no f'ing sense.
Valve didn't create Team Fortress, Day of Defeat, or Counter Strike either. Valve hired the developers of those mods then applied for the trademark for their names. Similiar to Dota 2.
 

EGG

Neo Member
Apr 13, 2009
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Blizzard already does something with the marks. They've been doing it for years.

If Valve owned the DOTA trademark then Blizzard would have to stop distributing a WC3 mod called "DOTA" on Battle.NET and they would have to stop hosting tournaments or events using the name "DOTA" at Blizzcon. That Valve suddenly and out of the blue applied for ownership of a mark that they clearly didn't create makes no f'ing sense.
Don't know how much sense this makes because Blizz can say "Defense of the Ancients"
 
Oct 19, 2005
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I've already argued the point of Blizzard's position of ownership over the marks (previous page) so you can look over that as I'm not in the humor to repeat myself in rapid succession.
Well, you can humor me. Demonstrate your ability to read plain-English sentences, interpret them, and carry on a discussion about their meaning. Do you understand and admit the facts of this case as presented in the thread:

  • Blizzard is claiming to currently hold a valid trademark on the word "DOTA"
  • their claim is based on the concept that all names and content of Warcraft 3 mods are automatically owned by Blizzard due to the text of their EULA
  • this claim flies specifically against the way all other companies with moddable games have acted with regard to the content of those mods (and the way Blizzard has acted in the past)
  • if fully validated, this claim would result in Blizzard having exclusive use of "DOTA" and it would prevent Valve or "the community" from making use of the term

or don't you?
 
Jun 10, 2004
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Blizzard already does something with the marks. They've been doing it for years.

If Valve owned the DOTA trademark then Blizzard would have to stop distributing a WC3 mod called "DOTA" on Battle.NET and they would have to stop hosting tournaments or events using the name "DOTA" at Blizzcon. That Valve suddenly and out of the blue applied for ownership of a mark that they clearly didn't create makes no f'ing sense.
except blizzard doesn't distribute dota themselves and icefrog has made it very clear that development on dota will continue simultaneously alongside dota 2.

as a long-time dota player (from 2004 onward) i could not be rooting for valve more. it's precisely because blizz did so little for the game that i want them to lose here. a couple blizzcon tournaments count as supporting the game? don't make me laugh. the game has been stuck in the hell that is the wc3 engine for far too long. it has a nightmarish game browsing menu, no skill based match placement, no ability to reconnect to games, an archaic interface, no way to ban the accounts of trolls and cheaters/maphackers (which are rampant), and many more issues. blizzard did nothing but sit on their hands while a true gaming treasure was cultivated into one of the most compelling and well-balanced experiences around. i waited patiently for years for blizzard to at least include dota into warcraft 3's matchmaking and they couldn't even deliver us that. valve is finally giving the fans a modern way to play it and yes, they are rightfully going to make truckloads of money off of it.
 
Jun 23, 2011
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except blizzard doesn't distribute dota themlselves and icefrog has made it very clear that development on dota will continue simultaneously alongside dota 2.

as a long-time dota player (from 2004 onward) i could not be rooting for valve more. it's precisely because blizz did so little for the game that i want them to lose here. a couple blizzcon tournaments count as supporting the game? don't make me laugh. the game has been stuck in the hell that is the wc3 engine for far too long. it has a nightmarish game browsing menu, no skill based match placement, no ability to reconnect to games, an archaic interface, no way to ban the accounts of trolls and cheaters/maphackers (which are rampant), and many more issues. blizzard did nothing but sit on their hands while a true gaming treasure was cultivated into one of the most compelling and well-balanced experiences around. i waited patiently for years for blizzard to at least include dota into warcraft 3's matchmaking and they couldn't even deliver us that. valve is finally giving the fans a modern way to play it and yes, they are rightfully going to make truckloads of money off of it.
VALVE HATERS SHUT DOWN

Pretty much that is exactly why fans of Dota should be rooting for Valve.
 
Mar 3, 2011
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except blizzard doesn't distribute dota themlselves and icefrog has made it very clear that development on dota will continue simultaneously alongside dota 2.

as a long-time dota player (from 2004 onward) i could not be rooting for valve more. it's precisely because blizz did so little for the game that i want them to lose here. a couple blizzcon tournaments count as supporting the game? don't make me laugh. the game has been stuck in the hell that is the wc3 engine for far too long. it has a nightmarish game browsing menu, no skill based match placement, no ability to reconnect to games, an archaic interface, no way to ban the accounts of trolls and cheaters/maphackers (which are rampant), and many more issues. blizzard did nothing but sit on their hands while a true gaming treasure was cultivated into one of the most compelling and well-balanced experiences around. i waited patiently for years for blizzard to at least include dota into warcraft 3's matchmaking and they couldn't even deliver us that. valve is finally giving the fans a modern way to play it and yes, they are rightfully going to make truckloads of money off of it.
Great post.

The idea that the "name should stay with the community" makes no sense at all. What does that even mean? I'm struggling to think of a way in which that statement makes sense.

If anything, Valve trademarking the name would benefit the community most. If you're not sure how Eul/IceFrog/Valve are working together to benefit the community, then read the quote at the beginning of this post.
 
Feb 28, 2011
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except blizzard doesn't distribute dota themselves and icefrog has made it very clear that development on dota will continue simultaneously alongside dota 2.

as a long-time dota player (from 2004 onward) i could not be rooting for valve more. it's precisely because blizz did so little for the game that i want them to lose here. a couple blizzcon tournaments count as supporting the game? don't make me laugh. the game has been stuck in the hell that is the wc3 engine for far too long. it has a nightmarish game browsing menu, no skill based match placement, no ability to reconnect to games, an archaic interface, no way to ban the accounts of trolls and cheaters/maphackers (which are rampant), and many more issues. blizzard did nothing but sit on their hands while a true gaming treasure was cultivated into one of the most compelling and well-balanced experiences around. i waited patiently for years for blizzard to at least include dota into warcraft 3's matchmaking and they couldn't even deliver us that. valve is finally giving the fans a modern way to play it and yes, they are rightfully going to make truckloads of money off of it.
 
Dec 8, 2008
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except blizzard doesn't distribute dota themselves and icefrog has made it very clear that development on dota will continue simultaneously alongside dota 2.

as a long-time dota player (from 2004 onward) i could not be rooting for valve more. it's precisely because blizz did so little for the game that i want them to lose here. a couple blizzcon tournaments count as supporting the game? don't make me laugh. the game has been stuck in the hell that is the wc3 engine for far too long. it has a nightmarish game browsing menu, no skill based match placement, no ability to reconnect to games, an archaic interface, no way to ban the accounts of trolls and cheaters/maphackers (which are rampant), and many more issues. blizzard did nothing but sit on their hands while a true gaming treasure was cultivated into one of the most compelling and well-balanced experiences around. i waited patiently for years for blizzard to at least include dota into warcraft 3's matchmaking and they couldn't even deliver us that. valve is finally giving the fans a modern way to play it and yes, they are rightfully going to make truckloads of money off of it.
*golf clap*
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Braga
www.insertcoin-pt.net
Valve didn't create Team Fortress, Day of Defeat, or Counter Strike either. Valve hired the developers of those mods then applied for the trademark for their names. Similiar to Dota 2.
Similar?? But Team Fortress, Day of defeat and Counter Strike, all of them are Half Life Mods! And Half life is a valve product. Dota is a Warcraft 3 Mod, this is something else entirely.
 
Jun 23, 2011
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Similar?? But Team Fortress, Day of defeat and Counter Strike, all of them are Half Life Mods! And Half life is a valve product. Dota is a Warcraft 3 Mod, this is something else entirely.
Team Fortress is a Quake mod.

e: beaten

Also, see Alien Swarm, originally made as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, until Valve hired them and they ported their game to Source... and then released it for free.
 
Jan 17, 2012
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They hired Eul, the guy who came up with the name and original map, and Ice Frog, the guy who made the most contributions.

What next, Gaming Age suing us over having GAF in our name?
Completely off topic but you bought it up. What is the history of Gaming age and Gaf I always thought Gaf was the Gaming Age Forums don't want to derail so a link or a PM would suffice thanks
 

rac

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Dec 13, 2009
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Completely off topic but you bought it up. What is the history of Gaming age and Gaf I always thought Gaf was the Gaming Age Forums don't want to derail so a link or a PM would suffice thanks
Gaming Age wanted to keep the name for the community but EviLore trademarked Gaf and made this forum.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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This certainly didn't stop TripWire with Red Orchestra or Valve with Team Fortress or Alien Swarm.

It's not stopping Unknown Worlds with Natural Selection either.

Also, the person who made WarCraft 3's map editor works at ArenaNet now, as do the people who made Battle.net.
Tripwire is not a good example because they won a competition sponsored by Epic to turn a mod into a full featured product. Epic actually gave them funds to create the game and to start an independent studio.