Cheaters of the world, beware. Blizzard is attempting to stamp down on the use of certain illicit, cheating bots in World of Warcraft, Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm by suing a prolific bot maker. The publisher has taken the case to the California federal court, and claims these user-created avatars have swindled them out of millions of dollars.
Check where WoW sits in our guide to the best PC MMOs.
Blizzard is suing one James Enright (otherwise known as “Apoc”) for developing and selling a series of bots that allow players to cheat at the likes of WoW. Enright has seemingly made a serious chunk of change peddling bots such as “HonorBuddy” and “StormBuddy”, with several of his creations going for around $27/£17. Considering these bots give gamers an unfair advantage, not only unbalancing Blizzard’s games but making Apoc a hefty profit in the process, the publisher is more than a tad annoyed:
“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,” reads a copy of Blizzard’s complaint.
We’re not talking peanuts here, either. Blizzard believes Enright has cost them what could work out as an eight figure sum. “As a result of Enright’s conduct, Blizzard has lost millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue and in consumer goodwill.”
Taking the vast amount of money semi out of the equation, the publisher also claims Enright is infringing on their copyrights. “Defendants have infringed, and are continuing to infringe, Blizzard’s copyrights by reproducing, adapting, distributing, and/or authorizing others to reproduce, adapt, and distribute copyrighted elements of the Blizzard Games without authorization,” the complaint continues.
Blizzard is demanding statutory damages, the final figure of which will no doubt punch one hell of a whole in old Avoc’s change purse. So the lesson here is, don’t create cheaty bots that infringe on Bethesda copyright, kids.