In a recent development, Activision Blizzard has enforced a cease and desist order on X Labs, a prominent fan project focused on creating mods for the PC version of Call of Duty. The team at X Labs, in compliance with the order, made a public announcement regarding their shutdown on May 22.
X Labs had a unique proposition for players: it offered a modification pack that allowed fans to modify their gameplay experience. However, this wasn’t a standalone product. To access these modifications, players needed to have the base Call of Duty game installed on their systems.
In response to the legal order, X Labs has pulled the plug on its digital presence. As of May 23, their website, Patreon, and Discord channel have all been deactivated, bringing an abrupt halt to their modding activities.
This shutdown is the latest in a series of fan project closures led by Activision Blizzard. The trend was previously seen when the publisher targeted Sm², another fan-based mod project that used the engine of Modern Warfare 2 to create a new gameplay experience. The shutdown, which took place on May 17, was a significant blow to the Call of Duty fan community.
These actions reflect a broader pattern within Activision’s approach to fan-created projects. Other examples include the closure of IW4X and a prominent Call of Duty: Warzone stat tracking website in 2021. These incidents underline the challenges that fan-made projects face in the gaming industry, reinforcing the need for legal understanding and careful navigation of copyright issues.