'Warcraft' Gamemaker Sues Over Cheat Bots

World of Warcraft videogame - Publicity-H 2016
Courtesy of Blizzard

While Warcraft is taking the world box office by storm, the company behind its computer game source material says it's losing tens of millions because of bots that help players cheat.

Blizzard Entertainment is suing Bossland GmbH, a German company the gamemaker claims has built a business by creating malicious software products that help users cheat at the expense of Blizzard and its users, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in California federal court. 

The claims aren't limited to established favorites like World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard's newest game Overwatch was released May 24 and Bossland has already developed and released a cheat for it called Watchover Tyrant.

"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," states the complaint. "The Bossland Hacks destroy the integrity of the Blizzard Games, thereby alienating and frustrating legitimate players and diverting revenue from Blizzard to Defendants."

Bossland is not only illegally trafficking in products that evade Blizzard's "anti-cheat technologies," but also inducing gamers to break the law by violating their End User License Agreements.

"Defendants also have knowingly, intentionally, and maliciously induced thousands or tens of thousands of Blizzard customers in the United States to breach their contracts with Blizzard, including contracts that explicitly prohibit them from engaging in the precise type of cheating that Bossland enables by its hacks."

Honorbuddy, for example, is the bot designed to help users cheat at Warcraft by allowing them to acquire in-game experience and resources at a faster rate and is marketed by Bossland as "the best available [third] party Bot for the game World of Warcraft from Blizzard."

In the suit, Blizzard describes how it scans user activity to detect cheating, but claims Bossland also advises gamers on how to avoid being caught using the bots as part of its customer support.

Blizzard is suing for trafficking in circumvention devices, inducement to infringe copyright, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement, intentional interference with contractual relations and unfair competition. The company is seeking an injunction and statutory and punitive damages, which it estimates could amount to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.