Blizzard make a point of fortifying all of their games on battle.net, keeping them online even when they don’t necessarily need to be. That seems to make life tricky for would-be hackers, who for the most part are kept at bay by the developer’s server walls.
It turns out they’re the lucky ones. The hackers that do slip through, who manage to sell software that throws the competitive founding of games like StarCraft 2 into disarray – they’re the ones Blizzard take to court.
The group of modders Blizzard are suing are responsible for a program named ‘ValiantChaos MapHack’.
Blizzard say the hackers have given paying users an “unfair competitive advantage” in StarCraft 2 multiplayer – “to the detriment” of legitimate players.
“These hacks and cheats not only disrupt or impair the online experience for purchasers of the computer game, but… cause serious and irreparable harm to Blizzard and its products,” reads the claim.
“Among other things, Defendants irreparably harm the ability of Blizzard’s legitimate customers… to enjoy and participate in the competitive online experience of StarCraft II. That, in turn, causes users to grow dissatisfied with the game, lose interest in the game, and communicate that dissatisfaction.”
Blizzard intend to sue the hackers for both copyright infringement and violation of Blizzard’s end-user agreement. Oddly enough, though, they don’t yet know the real identities of the group – that’s something they plan to determine during legal proceedings.
The argument that harm done to StarCraft’s competitive reputation is harm done to Blizzard seems a sound one: this is a game that lives or dies as an eSport. Have you ever personally come across cheats on the ladder, though?