Nearly a year ago, Blizzard filed a lawsuit against cheat program creators Bossland, seeking damages for the latter party’s role in generating cheat software for games like Overwatch (Watchover Tyrant) and World of Warcraft (Honor Buddy), and now the California District Court has granted Blizzard statutory copyright damages totaling out to $8,563,600. In addition to the restitution Bossland is ordered to pay, the cheat maker also owes Blizzard $174,872 in attorneys’ fees and is prohibited from selling programs that exploit any of the developer’s games in the United States.
According to the court’s decision, Blizzard is well within its rights to receive compensation for its lawsuit against Bossland Hacks, as the game publisher and developer has spent a sizeable amount of its funds combating the German cheat maker’s software in order to ensure fair play within its titles such as Overwatch. Not to mention, the court has also ordered Bossland to pay damages to Blizzard due to its reputation being harmed after fans’ complaints about other players’ use of exploits. Per the court’s ruling:
“Blizzard has established a showing of resulting damage or harm because Blizzard expends a substantial amount of money combating the use of the Bossland Hacks to ensure fair game play.
“Additionally, players of the Blizzard Games lodge complaints against cheating players, which has caused users to grow dissatisfied with the Blizzard Games and cease playing. Accordingly, the in-game cheating also harms Blizzard’s goodwill and reputation.”
Just prior to the court’s issuing of its judgement on the case, Bossland CEO Zwetan Letschew spoke to the outlet TorrentFreak and said that his company would continue its practices despite whatever ruling was issued. At this point in time, it remains unclear as to exactly how they plan to do so, especially since the company decided not to represent itself while the rulings unfolded. However, it seems as if the cheats will remain widely available outside of the US for now.
Taking all of this into consideration, since the California District Court has effectively rendered a rather weighty verdict against Bossland, this is definitely a major win for Blizzard and fans who are proponents of fair play in titles like Overwatch that rely primarily on its multiplayer experience. Of course, it’s important to reiterate that the ruling does not affect the cheat makers’ ability to make and propagate its software outside of the US, so it’s quite likely that Blizzard still has a way to go before completely ending Bossland’s ability to create cheat programs, and may have to take action against players who still decide to use existing exploits by issuing more hacker bans.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.