How do community suggestions on official forums fare as unsolicited suggestions? We often see developers in a dialog with a community about various features. I know that Vermintide 2 made a major balance pass a few years back which was largely inspired by community feedback, but I don’t remember signing away any rights when creating accounts on various forums.

Detective Nancy McKenna says "This is not the same."ALT

Feedback is different from content. When we act on feedback, we’re taking the things that players say they like and dislike and incorporating that into our own future designs. We’re not taking content (or specific ideas for content) that the users created and incorporating that into the game. It is similar to the difference between cooking something with our own recipe and adjusting our recipe based on someone who tastes it, as opposed to accepting food + recipe created by someone else. We can discuss mechanics and existing content (and what we might modify), but we generally won’t take suggestions on hypothetical new content in forms other than “Would you like to see X?”

Phoenix Wright points and yells "Objection!"ALT

It’s also worth noting what is and is not protected by copyright. Game mechanics, for example, cannot be copyrighted so game mechanics are fair to talk about. Specific things like characters, narrative beats, environments, visuals, titles, etc. are subject to copyright, so we cannot talk about these. We could discuss a hypothetical generic dungeon system where different keys are obtained from the bosses of multiple sub-dungeons to unlock a final “big boss” encounter, but we could not talk about a player’s specific idea for a plains-themed palace and their ideas for the wombat and mongoose sub bosses, alongside their dire hippopotamus big boss. We could discuss our design philosophy for a particular character class in the game, but we could not discuss (or even read) a player’s idea for a brand new class that they came up with.

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