1. Legal ramifications? Enough said on that. And Blizzard did not start Massively, they have evolved to the point they are now through continuing engaement and coding. You clearly do not understand how a business is built.
Firstly, Stardock is the North American Publisher of Demigod, and as thus outside of the North America you're dealing with Atari, I believe. The legal rammifications of such sweeping changes being entirely funded by Stardock are huge. Even a multi-investor change of this magnitude, assuming of course GPG and Atari sign off on the deal which they won't, would essentially place three companies in the midst of a financially irresponsible situation. Atari, being a publically owned company, is under requirement to minimise financial risk and maximise profits; their shareholders wouldn't be too happy with them for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a game that has already reached profitable levels of sales and received favourable reception upon it's release. Demigod isn't a gold mine waiting to be tapped, regardless of your feelings on the matter.
Not one sentence here of the business structure implies LEGAL ramifications. That is the investment and profit centers of a business. A programmer making a Dedicated server for users to download and host, encouraging them to get friends to buy the game is not A. SWEEPING change nor is it B. A MASSIVE undertaking. C.
Also...I would appriciate 2 things from you in the future.
1. Please give me an analysis: programming time and business contracts for a modification of the net code for a player to host his own game without going through the matchmaking service of SD and GPGnet...because you think somehow this alters the financial structure of SD, atari and publishers and make it a LEGAL issue (which means you have NO understanding of business. I would so love to know how you get hundreds of thousands of dollars).
2. Please do not explore my feelings as to whether I feel this is an "untapped goldmine" of which I have never said.
If your thoughts were the consensus of the American general population, then we would be a third world country. People make things happen. A programmer with tools and code base can do just about anything. More programmers can make just about anything faster. Once again...and I am so trying to get you to understand this, RELEASE a simple stand alone server component and mod tools and this game will grow. No business will turn down continued revenue. And this is not a BUSINESS REORGANIZATION....and you implying that just means you are not grasping the concept of operation here.