Blizzard, creators of World of Warcraft, have filed a lawsuit against Bossland; a studio responsible for creating bots allowing players to cheat in games such as Diablo 2, Heroes of the Storm and World of Warcraft.
The entire situation revolves around Stormbuddy, a particular bot created by Bossland to aid players in Heroes of the Storm. The story goes that, according to TorrentFreak, Blizzard’s legal team approached Bossland freelancer James Enbright (known as Apoc) and offered him a deal (the details of which remain unknown). The terms of this deal lead to Apoc handing over the source code for Stormbuddy, and as a result Stormbuddy has been pulled.
“Today Blizzard acted in a manner as shady as possible for a multi-billion-dollar corporation. We were informed that the deal compelled Apoc to submit the entire source code of Stormbuddy, which is actually the intellectual property of Bossland GmbH, to Blizzard,” said Bossland CEO Zwetan Letschew. “Activision Blizzard is fully aware that Bossland GmbH, and not Apoc, is the owner of the intellectual property of Honorbuddy, Demonbuddy and Stormbuddy, considering that there are six cases that are still in progress […] in Germany.”
Letschew goes on to accuse Blizzard of copyright infringement: “Blizzard now possesses the whole Stormbuddy source code. There was no permission given by Bossland GmbH, nor were we contacted by Activision Blizzard, nor had Apoc the rights to give out our intellectual property.”
Blizzard are taken an unsurprising approach to the situation, and are suing Bossland. A Blizzard representative said to Kotaku:
“Bossland’s entire business is based in cheating, and the use of their bots negatively impacts our global player community. That’s why we do not tolerate cheating in our games, and it’s why our players overwhelmingly support that policy. We’ve already won numerous cases against Bossland in Germany (where they’re based), and despite their tactics to delay the ongoing proceedings and the related repercussions, we’re confident that the court system will continue to validate our claims and ultimately stop the distribution of these cheating bots. We’ll continue to aggressively defend our games and services, within the bounds of the law, in an effort to provide the best possible experience for our players. We want to use this as an opportunity to remind players who might not be aware—using bots, such as those distributed by Bossland, to automate gameplay in our games will result in a loss of access to those games.”
Bossland are counter-suing Blizzard in Germany next week in an attempt to get the details of the deal made with Apoc brought to light.