Blizzard has launched a lawsuit at the creators of several popular bot services that help players cheat at World of Warcraft, Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard is accusing the bot developers of copyright infringement and also points out that bot services ruin the gaming experience for legitimate players in several of its most popular titles. This move isn’t entirely unexpected, as Blizzard has been getting more aggressive with bot accounts in the last year.
The bot services in question include HonorBuddy, StormBuddy and DemonBuddy, which allow WoW, Heroes of the Storm and Diablo III players to rack up experience while they are away from the PC.
Only one of the defendants in the lawsuit was named, though there are several other people involved, who will also be dragged in to this. The lawsuit explains: “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”.
“The Bots that Enright has programmed and helps distribute destroy the integrity of the Blizzard Games, alienating and frustrating legitimate players, and diverting revenue from Blizzard to Defendants. As a result of Enright’s conduct, Blizzard has lost millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue and in consumer goodwill. Meanwhile, Enright and his team have been massively and unjustly enriched at Blizzard’s expense”.
However, things have gotten quite interesting. While the lawsuit names James ‘Apoc’ Enright as the owner of these botting programs, Bossland GmbH (via TorerentFreak) claims differently, with its CEO stating that Honor, Storm and Demon Buddy belong to Bossland GmbH and that Enright is merely a freelancer at best: “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.”
KitGuru Says: Blizzard seems to think it is going after the right people but there is some dispute there. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out, though a lot of the lawsuit will rely on Blizzard proving that it lost money due to bot services.