Blizzard Taking Overwatch Cheat Maker To Court

Blizzard is suing German company Bossland over its sale of an Overwatch cheat program called Watchover Tyrant, which does things like reveal enemy player locations on a radar.

As TorrentFreak report, this isn't the first time Blizzard has gone after Bossland; the two have had a long-running battle over cheat programs in games like World of WarCraft and Heroes of the Storm.

In the suit, Blizzard says Bossland's cheats are "continuing to cause, massive and irreparable harm to Blizzard" by violating its copyrights and terms of service, potentially causing players to stop playing Overwatch (or not buy it in the first place) and of doing so with the full knowledge that what they're doing is illegal.

For an idea of what exactly Watchover Tyrant does, here's a screenshot of an early version's settings:

So, yeah, it's basically a dick move simulator.

While it seems a fairly straightforward case, Blizzard vs Bossland has anything but a straightforward history. Earlier this year Blizzard had to pay legal costs for a case it lost against the cheat makers, and Bossland's CEO Zwetan Letschew says that because this suit is being filed in California, any decision will lack the jurisdiction to punish his company, which is based in Zwickau, Germany.


Comments

    Boo Hoo. Put more effort and spending into your product and make the game's programming tighter like the A grade publishers do.

      which A grade publisher are you referring to?

      It's not just about more work. Many of the security approaches that are required end up limiting the functionality of games. They can make your game perform worse on your client machine, they can give the servers more load, and they take up more bandwidth from your internet connection and give you worse performance online. They limit player numbers on servers.

      It's not about making the "programming tighter". It's often about changing the architecture of the solution and doing things in much less efficient ways because those ways block the hacks.

      For example, moving a whole lot of checking from the client to the server might stop certain hacks, but this might increase the size of the data sent for each player, which in turn might cause a lower player limit to be achievable in the online game.

      If everyone could trust each other and companies didn't have to architect solutions to avoid hacks WE WOULD HAVE BETTER GAMES. This, of course, will never happen.

    Interesting. I'd have thought that a company that brazenly went after WoW or any Blizzard moneymaker would be a smoking crater by now. Guess the cheat program is profitable enough to afford decent lawyers.

      Also the whole overseas thing makes things very difficult. That company owner is an asshole through and through. He fully knows that what he's doing is illegal, unethical and overall terrible but he doesn't give a damn because he knows he can get away with it.

        I'm not at all clear what's 'illegal' about it. The program doesn't appear to be using any of the game's assets so I can't see the copyright violation. And reverse engineering a game's coding is pretty well established to be okay as well - which is why, for example, there are so many non-Adobe PDF emulators and editors.

        Sure, a player using the program may be violating Blizzard's terms of service if someone actually buys Overwatch and uses the cheat, but that's on the player not on Bossland. There's no contractual relationship between Bossland and Blizzard, so they can't violate terms of a service that they've never signed up to.

        And just discouraging people from buying a game isn't a legal issue either, that's just capitalism.

        It looks to me that Blizzard is just trying on the age-old corporate tactic of drowing smaller companies they don't like in oodles of legal red tape, costs and time defending themselves.

        Last edited 05/07/16 12:34 pm

          Its doing damage to the brand, damage to their goodwill and customer's faith in them, etc. All those sorts of things have dollar values attached to them and are pretty important when you're a company as big as Blizz with franchises as big as they have. Its not illegal in the way that murdering someone is illega, but its illegal as far as copyright/trademark laws go.

          Wow, that is extremely arrogant fish! These jerks are basically exploiting blizzards IP to make a quick buck. It is a violation of IP rights. The have every right to go after these pricks.

          Battle.net/Blizzard End User License Agreement: Section C. License Limitations.

          This is the section that Bossland is in breach of. In order to obtain the game code to create their exploits, they would have had to agree to this (Or the usual sneaky way of "If you press 'PLAY' you are agreeing to the terms and conditions).

          Feel free to have a read and educate yourself: http://eu.blizzard.com/en-gb/company/legal/eula

          Last edited 05/07/16 2:19 pm

            But he's not playing the game so he never agreed to that. The users that use his programme are in breach but not himself.

              He needs to test the code somehow. You can't write code for something and just hope it works

              Last edited 05/07/16 9:06 pm

                So by that token. Emulators should be banned. Sure it's only the roms covered by copyright but they had to test the emulator some how.

                  they should....you think psp ps3 emulators are legal? Its only legal if they owners let you.
                  You are just protecting cheaters and for what cause. Maybe you are one of them.

              If the cheat stays around I will stop playing Overwatch. Games like CoD and CSGO have already turned me away because of the cheating, this will be no different. I'm the reason Blizzard sues, and good on them for doing it. You can argue the technicality of it all day, but the end result is a loss in money and a customer base for customers to play against. Overwatch has no real single player aspect to it, so that's not an argument either.

              TLDR: The cheat dev's are shit and I hope Blizz lawyers nail them to the floor, otherwise I'm out and all the cheaters can just cheat against themselves....sounds thrilling.....lol

            In Europe the EULA is not legally binding. It's worthless. They can put whatever clauses they want, but it means nothing in a German court.

      They probably wouldn't even need to spend that much. International law is pretty much entirely unenforceable, and all the sternly worded letters in the world are never going to force change from someone who clearly has very little in the way of morals or ethics.

    gamers would have to be really pathetic to cheat at games like this. it defeats the purpose. it kinda means that they cant play the game as intended without resorting to unfair means. I wonder how they get through life. AT the end of a good game I think "wow that was a good game kinda worth all those silly defeats". I like that I have more loses than victories because I know I did my best in those bad groups (or was rubbish against clearly better people, thats who I am)... what do they think "wow that was a good game, but I am so pathetic I care more about winning and appearing like an awesome player, than actually being able to a play a game by the rules and actually really being a good gamer. I won but I am cheat, still that means I am the greatest right? even if it made heaps of others have a worse time of it" The Lance Armstrong guide to gaming.

      Because its obviously fun for them? If you care so little about the outcome of games, then I don't see :

      a) why you play a team game
      b) give a toss about who cheats in a game that has been designed up to be a casual team based game

      I don't condone cheating but I don't see why people care about this program so much. Its only a wall-hack and its not cs:go where you can get 1 tapped (2 particular heroes excluded), so walling won't give you a massive advantage. The game is so run and gun that wall hacking is almost pointless.

      If Blizzard really cared they'd ban people every day of the week, publicly name them (I know they do on the chinese forums) and ban licenses for all associated accounts based on credit card details\personal information and prevent them from every purchasing another Blizzard game.

      Instead they ban in quarterly waves, provided cheaters anonymity and leave them free to repurchase a new key on the same account, continue cheating and access the rest of their software library. They do this so that people go 'well i got 3-4 months of out this bot\cheat so I may as well get another Overwatch, D3, WoW account and do it again because it was worth it'.

      Bossland have been doing this for years and Blizz have had no success. They are doing this to make it look like they are doing their part but in reality they could care less.

        its a competitive game, and while not being "insta-killed" can often alleviate some issues involved with the use of such a program, having more information then your opponent means that the way you play will differ to if you didn't have the ability to see through a wall.

        By all means you might be a cautious player or a super aggressive player so what you do in the situation with/without the hack is different, but look at what happens when you get a UAV in COD or widowmaker uses her Ult, the majority of players change their play style dramatically when given more information on the locations of the enemy.

        Competitive games are not just a game of skill and reflexes but of information.

        so a wall hack, has no operational bearing on the game? those who use get absolutely nothing from it that helps them be better than everyone else in the game. Please. This game is based entirely around playing against others. That requires a level playing field. If people cant manage that they are both a cheat and a loser. There is no "only a wall hack". Oh but wait in the picture it does way more than just wall hacks. PS this isnt a casual team game ONLY, it is based at its core to be a competitive game both on a personal level and an esports level.

        What good would publicly naming them do. they just buy a new name with a new fake or stolen credit card. Who says they are banning in quarterly waves? that sounds a bit questionable especially given the tough stance they laid down before the game started.

        I think rather silly that you see this as Blizzard fault? Not the lame pathetic people who cant play a game without cheating because their self confidence is so poor they have to win at all costs, every if that means they have to cheat.

        Blizzard couldnt care less? Really? The thing about cheats like gold farmers, is that they will always exist. They will never ever be stamped out.Game devs have always had to do this dance, in all multiplayer games since they started, to say Blizzard doesnt care, is frankly ridiculous.

        Last edited 05/07/16 3:56 pm

    Not sure what the punishment for cheating in Blizzard games is, though i reckon this is what should happen:

    > Entire Blizzard account gets banned permanently for life.
    > IP Ban.
    > Any cards/Paypal account associated with the Blizzard account should be barred from using any more Blizzard services in the future
    > The Blizzard username should then be posted on some "Hall of Cheaters" page with details regarding why the account was banned for all to see.

    I just hate cheaters, especially in competitive games. Consequences should be extremely severe imo.

    Last edited 05/07/16 12:41 pm

      IP bans are not a good idea.

      Most people in Australia at least have dynamic IP addresses so one day you could log on and have the IP that a cheater used the day before and now you can't play.

        Yeah that is true, though it was meant to be one of the things that happens if you are caught cheating. The Banning of the account and payment accounts used would be good enough, the IP ban just adds a little more to the severity of it haha.

        Not sure what Blizzard see's on their end but instead of doing IP bans can do MAC address banning :P

          MAC address banning

          Sell the router?

            Yeah, if you really wanted to.

            Along with all the other things that would need changing

            Last edited 06/07/16 10:52 am

          LMFAO a MAC addresses can be changed easily, as can an IP address. You just need to be the battlenet account so all there games get bared like WOW, diablo ,etc. That's a fairly big deterrent.

      Immortalising cheaters on a page is counterproductive to stopping cheaters.

    Good. Take him/her for every cent they are worth and leave them crying in a corner for scraps.

    Unlike other IP's blizzard have, Overwatch is limited for hackers by the fact it costs 70-90 dollars per purchase and one login per account. WoW gets heavily botted because people can pickup keys for next to nothing and they can have as many logins per account as they want, it also has tradeable items and pretty much endless gold uses. When you get banned with this game you will be shilling out dollars and having to begin on a new login account and there is relatively nothing tangible for winning, even if you do well in the new comp mode and get gold guns, you lose them all once you get banned.

    Just as an aside. For those saying its illegal, its not. The EULA simply advises you are agreeing to rules when you use the software, there is nothing that can be enforced in it under law, it just protects blizzard from you going to the ACCC or some such if they revoke your usage rights. As the acronym states "End User License AGREEMENT".

    Last edited 05/07/16 5:58 pm

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now