Last week, Gears of War and Unreal Engine studio Epic Games stated it did not support the Stop Online Piracy Act, a legislative measure that has caused much controversy as of late. Today, League of Legends developer Riot Games joined the ranks of dissenters, indicating it is also against SOPA, as well as the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
"We're not usually inclined to comment on politics. We're a game company, and making games is just a whole lot more fun," said Brandon Beck, cofounder and CEO of Riot Games. "But there is legislation under consideration today by the United States Congress that gives us serious concern."
"Riot Games is opposed to SOPA/PIPA in their present form. While we do support efforts to prevent online piracy, the current form of this legislation comes at far too high a cost for us, our players, and online communities across the Internet," Beck said.
In a more League of Legends-centric post on the game's official forums, Riot Games explained how League of Legends players specifically will be affected, should SOPA become law. According to Riot Games' reasoning, if gamers play copyrighted music on their game stream, the entire stream is at risk of being shut down.
Further, Riot Games states that SOPA would threaten independent content creation sites that League of Legends gamers visit and use like YouTube, Reddit, DeviantArt, Own3d, and Twitch. Additionally, Riot Games claims that if SOPA passes, aspects of League of Legends, like official forums and in-game chat, run the risk of either being entirely shut down or having their features reduced.
Riot Games went another step further to explain the situation to gamers. The studio's legal counsel Logan Margulies has opened an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on Reddit and is presently fielding questions related to Riot Games' stance on SOPA and PIPA.
Not all gaming entities are against SOPA. The Entertainment Software Association--the game industry's representative body--has pledged its support for SOPA. According to the ESA, the game industry requires effective protection against the illegal acquisition of games and those who facilitate it.
Companies that support the bill--including the National Football League and GameSpot parent company CBS--argue that it offers necessary protection to content creators. Opponents of the bill, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argue that SOPA infringes upon First Amendment rights and will ultimately deprive the Internet of non-infringing content.