Overwatch developer Blizzard is suing a cheat-creating company, Bossland, for creating hacking software which infringes on Blizzard’s copyrights and potentially cost the company millions of dollars.
The primary cheat Bossland is known for when it comes to the game Overwatch is called “Watchover Tyrant.” This hack permits its users to not only wall-hack (see opponents through walls), it enables them to see both friend and foe health and names and provides a radar, which the hack program claims “shows all.”
In any PvP oriented game, hacks such as this bring imbalance to the play field. The vast majority of gamers follow the rules so that the experience of a game like Overwatch is better for everyone. Playing “fair” also lets a person see how their skills stack up against other players and what they can do to improve.
The advent of hacks such as Watchover Tyrant disrupt the meta, infringing on the fun had by everyone but the hacker. When more and more “pure” gamers realize they can’t compete because they lack cheats, they either go to the dark side and get hacks themselves or move to another game.
There are countless games fallen to the wayside because the developers could not or would not effectively address cheating in the games. Many were quite good from both play and technical aspects, but there was no point in continuing to play, because hackers ruined the experience.
Such issues, like those that have plagued The Division, can destroy a game, costing the developer millions of dollars in lost revenue. Blizzard is taking action with Overwatch to prevent such an apocalypse from happening.
According to TorrentFreak, Blizzard claims the “Defendants’ sale and distribution of the Bossland Hacks in the United States has caused Blizzard to lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation…. They also have done so by enabling users of the Bossland Hacks (particularly the Overwatch Cheat) to use the software to create derivative works, such as the dynamic screen overlay generated by the Overwatch Cheat….Defendants not only know that their conduct is unlawful, but they engage in that conduct with the deliberate intent to harm Blizzard and its business. Blizzard is entitled to monetary damages, injunctive and other equitable relief, and punitive damages against Defendants.”
Unfortunately for gamers and Blizzard, one of the issues with the lawsuit is location. Bossland is a Germany-based company, which means any injunctions filed by Blizzard in the United States may not be enforceable due to the international nature of the spat.
Blizzard has already lost one lawsuit against Bossland, which makes hack software for a number of Blizzard properties. Zwetan Letschew, the CEO Bossland, is unconcerned with the potential lawsuit.
Blizzard Brings the Overwatch Ban Hammer Down on 10,000 Accounts for “Nuking”
In related news, recently Blizzard brought the infamous ban hammer down hard in Korea, permanently eliminating over 10,000 Overwatch accounts for a type of hacking called “nuking.” This insidious form of hacking actually treads into illegal grounds, as opposed to just moral. Nuking is a unique form of DDoS attack which specifically targets opposing players in an Overwatch match. The resultant lagfest prevents opponents from doing anything, as the latency or ping is so high, that multiple seconds can pass before any action made can be processed in the game.
This, of course, results in wholesale slaughter of affected players and loss of matches. In a fast-paced FPS like Overwatch, even a ping of 200-300 can easily get you killed. When it jumps into the thousands, players don’t stand a chance.
Blizzard has become extremely effective at detecting cheaters, which has led to some humorous results.
According to GameRant, some “players are especially upset as they thought that the cheat programs they had been using were ‘undetectable’ and are confused as to how Blizzard was able to pick up on them. These banned Overwatch players are so angry that according to one thread of cheat-ban-responses on the Blizzard forum, a few of those who’ve been caught are even interested in filing a lawsuit against the company.”
Such a lawsuit would suffer serious issues gaining traction in court. For one, cheaters violate the terms of service (ToS) for Overwatch. Because it is considered a contract or legal agreement, these hackers have no real recourse for their complaints. Furthermore, even if Blizzard is somehow spying on them, no doubt the User Agreement (one of the boxes you have to check or click “I agree” to play) has language defending whatever Blizzard has in mind for anti-cheat protection.
So what are your thoughts on Blizzard’s attempts to eradicate cheating from Overwatch? Too much, too little, too late? Tell us in the comments section below!