Freecraft Shut Down by Blizzard

June 21st, 2003 by theoddone33

The Freecraft project, formerly an open source RTS engine capable of playing Warcraft 2, received a cease and desist letter from Blizzard earlier this week. Apparantly, both the name of the project and the engine were deemed to be too similar to names and concepts owned by Blizzard. As a result, the project has been shut down, and all source releases have been removed from their now nonexistent SourceForge site.

The Freecraft project has been around for a long time. Formerly titled ALE Clone, it was one of the first few open-source efforts to clone commerical games that I can remember. It’s a shame to see the project end this way after all the time and work put into it.


A new Freecraft-based project has been started, called Project Inferno. This project aims to continue the development of Freecraft, after removing the options for Warcraft 2 compatibility. Project Inferno has no website as of yet, however the developers can be contacted in #projectinferno on

21 Responses to “Freecraft Shut Down by Blizzard”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Kohan is clearly superior.- the Kohan Troll

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Back in the late 90’s Blizzard contributed to the death of one of the best RTS’ of all time… Total Annihilation. That’s what happens when the little guy tries to take on the big guy in a fair fight. :(

  3. Anonymous Says:

    OK, why micro$oft not to shut down the Wine project now? I can’t believe that happened! Blizzard must die!

  4. XWRed1 Says:

    .. how this would stand up in the court of law. The name, *maybe*.

    But the little guys can’t stand up to a cease and desist letter.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Project Inferno is the official fork of the freecraft project, join us in #projectinferno on

  6. zorax Says:

    What now… I mean if they shut freecraft down they will have to release the warcraft2 source, I mean freecraft was so close! Damn you blizzard!!!

  7. frayday Says:

    And i used to like Blizzard … No more respect for them !!
    Freecraft team: sorry guys :( and thanks a lot for all your hours working on this really cool project !

  8. simcon Says:

    I have been to the Blizzard site and emailed all their departments and used their online Web form to tell them how despicable they are. Yes I know people are saying it’s Vivendi’s decision and not Blizzards (but we don’t know that) and that the FreeCraft guys shouldn’t be so willing to accept defeat (change name, game similarities etc.) but they need to know that they have made a bad decision, so it would be a good idea for Linux gamers to email Blizzard/send regular mail expressing their disgust.

    Here’s the Web form –
    Email addresses –,,,


  9. Anonymous Says:

    Did you know that this was actually illegal? Its a proven fact that emulators are _protected_ by statute in the US. Freecraft was nothing more than a glorified emulator +some. But it must be nice to be a company like blizzard with millions of dollars to abuse what they wrongly assume to be competition.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    since the bnetd bullying, I have personnaly advised many young persons against warcraft and succeeded in convaincing them, sincee I’m some kind of reference in gaming for them.
    It’s only a few lost sales, but it’s the only thing those kind of persons at blizzard can understand.
    Don’t even try to talk to young gamers, aka customers, about the political side of it, about the dangers of such behaviours to the gaming world, they would only find you boring. Instead, just tell their products are shit.
    Blizard forget that one happy customer tells it to 3 persons, and one angry tells it to 10. Show them that with internet we can make it worse.
    From now on it’s not
    ” i will not buy any blizzard game”
    “those games really suck, they’re all the same, just flashier graphics and worse gameplay!”

  11. Anonymous Says:

    … except for Sam ;)
    I sent an email and told them that for *them* there is no linux market anymore ;p

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Blizzard could have come to an arrangement here.
    If Freecraft was made to ONLY work with the official Warcraft content, people would buy the media in order to play. This is a free port for Blizzard.


  13. Anonymous Says:

    Remember that Vivendi Universal owns Blizzard and Sierra. They where the ones who shutdown bnetd NOT Blizzard and they are most likely the ones that shutdown FreeCraft, as they didn’t post the actual letter no one knows for sure.. Vivendi is the reason why Sierra and Blizzard seem so against OpenSource and linux..

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Actually this is good news. I thought i would get wc2 from the bargain bin one of thease days, so i could play freecraft with it. Since freecraft (atleast when i tried it the last time) lacked only in nice graphics. Maybe now with this restriction, and the start of a “new” project a lot more work will be put to those free graphics parts.

    ps. Maybe i’ll eaven contribute, and add some graphics if i’ll have time…

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Although I loved Warcraft II, Warcraft III was commercial tosh in my opinion. There was no sea battles for one thing. That’s what happens when companies like Universal get involved. Crap games.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Although I loved Warcraft II, Warcraft III was commercial tosh in my opinion. There was no sea battles for one thing. That’s what happens when companies like Universal get involved. Crap games.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    i’ve enjoyed most of what has been released as a result of the efforts of Blizzard Sofware over the last eight years, but since they were bought by Vivendi, things have certainly gone down hill.. I dont blame Blizzard for the demise of freecraft, but they are responsible for allowing themselves to be held under the thumb of something as disgusting as Vivendi Universal.. i happened to enjoy the progress of freecraft.. Vivendi Universal (and to a lesser extent, Blizzard) have taken away the future of something i enjoyed. I will not be paying money for another game owned by Vivendi, they never supported linux in the past, and they have continued to actively harm useful open-source projects.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I found this quite ammusing.. I just received the newsletter and in the list of top 25 projects for the month, freecraft is at slot number 10!! You’d figure they’d pull it from their newsletter as well..

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Hello, “Some Other Troll” here!

    I’m here to let YOU, the Freedom of Speach zealots that you don’t have to take it anymore! That’s right! Stop using FTP and HTTP! They’re causing the internet’s slowdown as well as allow those anti-Freedom of Speach people to pin their grotesque hotgrit-pouring fingers on innocent little software projects on sourceforge and others. Freecraft lives on…in another revisional name that only the developers and its devout users have chosen. Revive the one true name, ALE Clone! Stop making it look obvious! All the Freedom of Speach software projects will not be held on Bittorent and Gnutella; free from oppressors, for maximum dispersion. Now, if only we could have a special custom web browser that works transparently ontop of Bittorent or Gnutella protocol…in the making! Goodbye FTP! Goodbye HTTP! Goodbye Domain Name Servers!

    Verry Truly Yours, IIRC —
    -Some Other Troll

  20. Anonymous Says:

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I would like to know

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