There’s only one thing more maddening than an opposing team Bastion getting play of the game: cheaters. Blizzard has promised a zero tolerance policy for those caught circumventing the rules, and is taking a hard line against those that give cheaters tools.
Blizzard has filed a complaint against Bossland, the creator of a number of bot programs that automate the publisher’s games. Additionally, the cheat developer has recently released Watchover Tyrant, that Blizzard says have caused the company “irreparable harm.”
“Blizzard’s business depends upon its games being enjoyable and fair for players of all skill levels, and Blizzard expends an enormous amount of time and money to ensure that this is the case,” the filing says. “The Bossland Hacks destroy the integrity of the Blizzard Games, thereby alienating and frustrating legitimate players and diverting revenue from Blizzard to Defendants.”
The suit hinges on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which covers copyright protection. Blizzard suggests that Bossland’s hacks violate the publisher’s copyright, circumvent cheat protection, and induce “thousands and tens of thousands” of Blizzard gamers to breach the end user license agreement.
The complaint details that Blizzard’s anti-cheat detection, Warden, scans for known unauthorized programs. The company also encrypts “data pointers” that signify the location of players and their health information.
The Watchover Tyrant hack hides from or disables Warden and access data pointers to provide users unfair advantages. Licenses to the hacks, including the one that impacts Overwatch, are sold for €12.95 ($14.50) per month or €199 ($224) per year.
In order for this to continue working, Bossland packages its hacks with the Tripwire anti-spyware software. It’s designed to disable any of the hacks should Warden get suspicious.
Blizzard claims that Bossland’s HonorBuddy hack for World of Warcraft has led to the thousands of customers canceling their subscriptions. The publisher also says it has spent enormous sums to combat and reverse the impact of Bossland’s unauthorized software.
The suit seeks a permanent injunction against Bossland, complete termination of the software that infringes Blizzard’s copyright, actual, statutory, exemplary, and punitive damages, all unlawful proceeds earned by Bossland for its hacks of the publisher’s games, and full attorney fees. The case will be heard in the Southern District of California where it was transferred today.
Bossland says that it has previously won against Blizzard in Europe in 2013 over the HonorBuddy bot. In 2015, Blizzard withdrew an injunction attempt against Bossland’s Diablo gold-selling operation. In February of this year, Bossland claims it defeated Blizzard over the StormBuddy Heroes of the Storm bot. The company also offers bots for Path of Exile, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Neverwinter, Final Fantasy XIV, and World of Tanks.
Blizzard needs to protect the integrity of its games, especially as it looks to cultivate a growing esports community. This is an important suit that will both send a message and help Blizzard preserve the integrity of its games.