Blizzard Files Suit Against Overwatch Cheat Creator

Blizzard Files Suit Against Overwatch Cheat Creator

overwatch-mercy-320

Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Bossland, the creator of a popular Overwatch cheat.

Over the years, Blizzard has filed suits against many people who have developed cheats and hacks for the company's games. One such case that immediately comes to mind is the legal battle that raged over the Glider bot for World of Warcraft. Now Blizzard has filed lawsuit against a company that created a popular Overwatch cheat: German company Bossland.

Bossland has found itself in Blizzard's legal crosshairs before, as the two companies have had dealings in court over cheat programs for WoW and Heroes of the Storm. The current suit is in regards to a cheat called Watchover Tyrant that allows players to see enemies through walls, to see their health, and a number of other things.

In the suit, which you can read in full in this PDF at TorrentFreak, Blizzard says that "Defendants' sale and distribution of the Bossland Hacks in the United States has caused Blizzard to lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation."

Also stated within the suit is Blizzard's rationale behind filing it, namely, contributory copyright infringement. "They have done so by enabling and encouraging third-party 'freelancers' or contractors to fraudulently obtain access to the Blizzard Games and then, having done so, to engage in unauthorized reproduction of the Blizzard Games."

Bossland's CEO told TorrentFreak that he didn't fear any legal action filed in the US, as the courts there have no jurisdiction over the company, which is based in Germany.

It's not surprising to see Blizzard going after cheat programs for Overwatch, as the game has exploded in popularity since it launched. However, it's also interesting that they've chosen to do so through the courts, as that seems like a route that will be costly, time consuming, and fraught with uncertain outcomes. You can bet that they're also working on detecting the cheat and banning those using it.

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Is it "refreshing" to see someone not try to defend the morality of their actions? I am interested to see what Blizzard's plan is to counter Bossland's "Come at me bro" response.

"Lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation"? I really hope that's just overblown legal speak because if they are serious then that's just plain crazy

Blizzards just mad that they didn't think of this first.

Quellist:
"Lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation"? I really hope that's just overblown legal speak because if they are serious then that's just plain crazy

Is it really a question as to whether or not that allegation is standard Legalese? Reading a lawyer's rhetoric is always a good source of comedic relief. If you do not die from boredom or eye strain, first.

GarouxBloodline:

Quellist:
"Lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation"? I really hope that's just overblown legal speak because if they are serious then that's just plain crazy

Is it really a question as to whether or not that allegation is standard Legalese? Reading a lawyer's rhetoric is always a good source of comedic relief. If you do not die from boredom or eye strain, first.

I think playing too much Ace Attorney has given me a twisted view of lawyers, the RL ones never live upto my expectations

Are...are people trying to defend the cheaters here? Really? The first Facebook comment called Blizzard "scumbags," and now I'm seeing folks splitting hairs over their choice of words.

Frankly, I wish more publishers would do this. I'm sure at least some cheaters out there would think twice about their actions if they knew there was the potential for legal action to be taken against them.

Quellist:
"Lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation"? I really hope that's just overblown legal speak because if they are serious then that's just plain crazy

Yeah, that stuck out at me too. I'll give them lost reputation, but the tens of millions of dollars thing strikes me more as Blizzard's legal team trying to win that much money in the lawsuit, rather than an accurate accounting of lost revenue.

Solkard:
Is it "refreshing" to see someone not try to defend the morality of their actions? I am interested to see what Blizzard's plan is to counter Bossland's "Come at me bro" response.

After speaking with an attorney friend, I think that they've filed in CA federal court because they can see a path to winning there (and honestly, it's likely they will). Once they have a judgment in hand, it opens up many doors to them, including working with ISPs, PayPal, and other entities to slow the distribution of the cheat. They may not get a German court to actually enforce a monetary judgment, but they could possibly use any judgment in this case to make the cheat harder to acquire.

Quellist:
"Lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation"? I really hope that's just overblown legal speak because if they are serious then that's just plain crazy

The first part is plainly absurd with the real figure probably more in the realm of "hundreds to thousands" which doesn't look nearly as flashy on a legal document, but the second claim is technically correct. When cheaters start to ruin the game experience for someone they tend to be nearly as mad at the devs as they are at the actual cheaters, and every video of someone getting stommped by flagrant cheaters hurts the game's reputation as a enjoyable competitive environment.

OT: Considering Germany bent over backwards to allow prosecution of German comedian for insulting a repulsive evil murdering dictator, so it would be rather unfortunate if they decide to protect these toads. As far as I'm concerned the only good outcome here is Blizzard winning so hard that they burn this "company" to the ground and salt the earth.

This might be an effective way to discourage those little shits from creating cheats for multiplayer games.

major_chaos:

OT: Considering Germany bent over backwards to allow prosecution of German comedian for insulting a repulsive evil murdering dictator, so it would be rather unfortunate if they decide to protect these toads. As far as I'm concerned the only good outcome here is Blizzard winning so hard that they burn this "company" to the ground and salt the earth.

The problem is that a German court already found in favor of this same company in a case involving a Heroes of the Storm bot, which is likely another reason Blizzard didn't go back there to file this time around.

Neverhoodian:
Are...are people trying to defend the cheaters here? Really? The first Facebook comment called Blizzard "scumbags," and now I'm seeing folks splitting hairs over their choice of words.

Frankly, I wish more publishers would do this. I'm sure at least some cheaters out there would think twice about their actions if they knew there was the potential for legal action to be taken against them.

That's what I'm thinking.

The cheaters deserve any legal action taken against them. They're literally making an effort to ruin the game for a large portion of players. It's ridiculously scummy.

But Blizzard will get shit over literally anything they do. Because apparently they're evil money hungry slave owners who want to see the world burn... Despite them literally being a company who develop pretty high quality MMOs, with a lot of employees who clearly have a passion for what they do.

RaikuFA:
Blizzards just mad that they didn't think of this first.

What does this post even mean? Blizzard didn't think of distributing game destroying cheats first? Why would they make an effort to ruin the game for their own players?

Brian Tams:

Quellist:
"Lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation"? I really hope that's just overblown legal speak because if they are serious then that's just plain crazy

Yeah, that stuck out at me too. I'll give them lost reputation, but the tens of millions of dollars thing strikes me more as Blizzard's legal team trying to win that much money in the lawsuit, rather than an accurate accounting of lost revenue.

when you're in settlement negotiations, you always start with a ridiculous number so that you have room to work with

Kibeth41:

RaikuFA:
Blizzards just mad that they didn't think of this first.

What does this post even mean? Blizzard didn't think of distributing game destroying cheats first? Why would they make an effort to ruin the game for their own players?

I may be thinking of someone else (in which case, sorry Raiku) but I'm pretty sure this guy flat-out admitted in one thread that he wants to see Overwatch/Blizzard fail purely because it wasn't a Single-player game (despite it never being sold or advertised as such.) I wouldn't take him seriously.

I have no pity for them and I hope they lose the court case and pay out the ass.

Cheaters genuinely ruin the experience for people that play the game seriously and casually. For the casual people they just don't stand a chance before they even got started and for the pro players, hours of hard work can get trashed because some fucker with a computer bot can see everything about them. On top of that you can have actual good players get in the crossfires and be called cheaters as well and find themselves discredited for all their hard work: For example- that teenage girl that was accused of using a cheating program to play as Zarya.

I wish Zenimax/Bethesda took the same stance against cheating programs for Elder Scrolls Online. Nothing is more un fun than doing PVP maps and watching as some Argonian Sorcerer can spam 45 Cosmic Meteor Ultimates in under 10 seconds and nothing happens to them or the people who keep producing these cheats.

(to be fair they have banned a good chunk of them but a lot of the times it's not permanent.)

If I were Blizzard I'd consider banning the entire country for a short time. Ruin the game and no one gets to play it.

Aeshi:

Kibeth41:

RaikuFA:
Blizzards just mad that they didn't think of this first.

What does this post even mean? Blizzard didn't think of distributing game destroying cheats first? Why would they make an effort to ruin the game for their own players?

I may be thinking of someone else (in which case, sorry Raiku) but I'm pretty sure this guy flat-out admitted in one thread that he wants to see Overwatch/Blizzard fail purely because it wasn't a Single-player game (despite it never being sold or advertised as such.) I wouldn't take him seriously.

No I didn't(or at least I hope I didn't). My complaint was that it'd be the next Titanfall or Evolve because it didn't have single player. I also was mad that I couldn't get into the open beta and Blizzard just flat out ignored me. That and the fact that console users have to pay $60 yet PC can pay $40. There's a reason the joke name for this game is Overpriced.

Banning cheaters online is good and all but I still don't like the way they're going at it. Copyright is again used a bludgeon for whatever the hell the company wants it to be. They don't deserve the legal win and I don't like the precedent it would set for a gaming company to be able to dictate what someone can and cannot do with a program they paid for. I mean, sure, in this case, it's cheating and it's obviously wrong but if they won, what's to stop some dicks to go after stuff like CheatEngine on dubious legal grounds and ruin it for people who like to cheat on offline games?

I honestly have no idea why anyone could defend the cheat selling company. Do you defend crypto wall writers who literally ransom peoples files back to them because the extortioners are based in a country that has no laws or will to enforce them for foreign victims?

Blizzard does lots of shady crap, call them out on it, but trying to stop people from ruining peoples games isn't one of them.

Kibeth41:

Neverhoodian:
Are...are people trying to defend the cheaters here? Really? The first Facebook comment called Blizzard "scumbags," and now I'm seeing folks splitting hairs over their choice of words.

Frankly, I wish more publishers would do this. I'm sure at least some cheaters out there would think twice about their actions if they knew there was the potential for legal action to be taken against them.

That's what I'm thinking.

The cheaters deserve any legal action taken against them. They're literally making an effort to ruin the game for a large portion of players. It's ridiculously scummy.

But Blizzard will get shit over literally anything they do. Because apparently they're evil money hungry slave owners who want to see the world burn... Despite them literally being a company who develop pretty high quality MMOs, with a lot of employees who clearly have a passion for what they do.

That's the funny thing IMO. Yes, Blizzard is doing this because they're money hungry. But... how is that inherently a bad thing? They're trying to protect the investments they've worked on from those who are trying to ride off their success in the most destructive manner possible (all the while giving snarky "lol can't touch us" comments no less).

To steal TheThain's quote, "Blizzard does lots of shady crap, call them out on it, but trying to stop people from ruining peoples games isn't one of them." Blizzard is, at worst, morally neutral in this situation.

Infernal Lawyer:

That's the funny thing IMO. Yes, Blizzard is doing this because they're money hungry. But... how is that inherently a bad thing? They're trying to protect the investments they've worked on from those who are trying to ride off their success in the most destructive manner possible (all the while giving snarky "lol can't touch us" comments no less).

To steal TheThain's quote, "Blizzard does lots of shady crap, call them out on it, but trying to stop people from ruining peoples games isn't one of them." Blizzard is, at worst, morally neutral in this situation.

You do realize that I was being sarcastic, right? About the money hungry part.

Blizzard aren't the evil corporate giants which people make them out to be. It's actually ridiculous when people try to portray them as such.

Kibeth41:

Infernal Lawyer:

That's the funny thing IMO. Yes, Blizzard is doing this because they're money hungry. But... how is that inherently a bad thing? They're trying to protect the investments they've worked on from those who are trying to ride off their success in the most destructive manner possible (all the while giving snarky "lol can't touch us" comments no less).

To steal TheThain's quote, "Blizzard does lots of shady crap, call them out on it, but trying to stop people from ruining peoples games isn't one of them." Blizzard is, at worst, morally neutral in this situation.

You do realize that I was being sarcastic, right? About the money hungry part.

Blizzard aren't the evil corporate giants which people make them out to be. It's actually ridiculous when people try to portray them as such.

Well, I WAS trying to agree with you. I'm just pointing out that people need to stop acting as if liking money is inherently evil, or any action inspired by a want of money is inherently wrong.

Maybe the term "money hungry" has far more negative connotations than I realized. *shrugs*

Infernal Lawyer:
Well, I WAS trying to agree with you. I'm just pointing out that people need to stop acting as if liking money is inherently evil, or any action inspired by a want of money is inherently wrong.

Maybe the term "money hungry" has far more negative connotations than I realized. *shrugs*

Seems like a misunderstanding. I now see what you mean. My apologize.

I generally see the term 'money hungry' as a way to describe someone who is greedy enough for wealth, that they seek it at the expense of others. But, I see how you're indicating that it doesn't have to be a negative thing.

I'd just call what Blizzard are doing 'seeking profit'. The employees all need to pay bills and stay fed somehow. And the games industry isn't exactly the strongest.

It is good that they try to do something against cheaters. It is also good that they can't really touch this firm because German law regarding third party software is different. It is not only cheats, it is also pretty much every other supplement or add on and overall the software world is a better place if customers and 3rd party developers can develop and use interfaces to enhanced or change the abilities of software without getting successfully sued.

There is already enough "we don't want this tool to exist or to be able to work with our files because we might or might not want to implement something similar but more expensive sometime in the future" going on.

Developers should go backto selling products, not licenses and should stop trying to control how consumers use their software. And yes, i do say that as software developer.

I wonder if Blizzard will just reverse engineer the cheating tech, so it's detectable. And anyone using it gets permabanned. Seems only fair.

 

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