Blizzard suing automated bot distributors
Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against a bot maker claiming losses of "millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue and in consumer goodwill". The defendant, a James 'Apoc' Enright is the developer of a very clever hack in Blizzard titles -- Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 -- that enables players to use automated bots.
Bots are designed so that you, as a player, could leave your PC or laptop, cook dinner, make a cup of tea and put on some washing whilst still farming experience in game among other things. To say Blizzard isn't happy would be an understatement. The company filed a lawsuit with the California District Court that will see Enright facing charges of copyright infringement, intentional interference and breach of contract.
“The Bots created by Enright and his team have caused, and are continuing to cause, massive harm to Blizzard. Blizzard’s business depends upon its games being enjoyable and balanced for players of all skill levels.”
None of the other culprits have been named but the most popular bots being used are known as "DemonBuddy", "HonorBuddy" and "StormBuddy". They were being sold at $27 a piece so not only have Blizzard lost out on potential income, Mr Enright has made a nice profit by the sounds of it!
This isn't the first time Blizzard have been involved with a lawsuit of this kind, earlier this year they lost against the German company Bossland GmbH who actually created the bots. Zwetan Letschew, CEO of Bossland GmbH commented on the suit, saying:
“Apoc is neither the owner nor the creator of Honorbuddy, Demonbuddy and Stormbuddy. The trademarks belong to Bossland GmbH, the software belongs to Bossland GmbH, a German company created by two shareholders in 2009. Apoc is not a shareholder or a decision giver at Bossland GmbH, Apoc is not even an employee of Bossland GmbH. I find it funny, no not even funny, but ridiculous for a company of this size, to go after and mention publicly people, that are at best random freelancers, keeping in mind that they sued the creator of the software in question in Germany.”
If Blizzard were to win this case, Enright could be forced to pay millions in fines as well as cease the distribution of the bots. It seems they definitely put players at an unfair advantage as some of them can generate huge amounts of in-game gold in World of Warcraft, removing all challenge from the game.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Are Blizzard being just by trying to sue? Let me know in the comments below!