Following the news this week on the lawsuit over what looked like pretty clear plagiarism on Capcom's part, it's back to business as usual in video game copyright land. Following a DMCA takedown request from Warner Bros lawyers, Mod DB has removed the Total War: Attila total conversion mod, Total War: Rise of Mordor from their site (thanks, Game Watcher).
It's not all bad news, however, as Warner Bros took issue with the name rather than mod content itself, so it's just a case of renaming the mod to something less copyright-strike-triggering then posting it back online.
Being a mod, Rise of Mordor is not a commercial product, and there are tons of Lord of the Rings mods out there that haven't suffered the same fate, so it's odd that Warner Bros picked out this particular one. Is it just copyright lawyers flexing their muscles or, more tantalisingly, did this mod name happen to clash with the name of a potential upcoming Middle-Earth game? Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War, Rise of Mordor: It sort of fits...
As the recent Take-Two crackdown on the GTA modding community showed, game publishers and rights-holders tend to crack down on mods in the build-up to announcing a new title.
The mod itself looks very promising. Its goal is to create a full Middle Earth campaign complete with 19 playable factions, model designs based on those from WETA Workshop (who worked on movies), and custom units and settlements. We first covered it back in 2018 when it hit alpha, but it's come a long way since then.
YouTuber TheTerminator does a comprehensive breakdown of last month's update in this video:
You have to question the Warner Bros legal team's Googling abilities too, because although Rise of Mordor is temporarily unavailable on Mod DB, you really don't have to look that far if you wish to download it right now.