The people over at TorrentFreak have managed to get their hands on a lawsuit Blizzard is filing against a group of hackers that are running amuck in Starcraft II. The hackers in question are the individuals behind the “ValiantChaos MapHack” cheat, which has become pervasive enough in the game that Blizzard is arguing that the programmers behind the cheat are ruining the experience of Starcraft II for legitimate players. Users can buy the hack in question by joining a forum and then donating $62.50 to attain access to the VIP section of the forum which in turn will provide them with the hack. The hack itself does a number of things that give the person using it a number of unfair advantages against their opponent and is a good way to suck all the fun out of the game for anyone just trying to play it normally.
Currently, the hackers have made tens of thousands of dollars from this exploit, something that Blizzard alleges infringes on their copywrite as laid out by the EULA you need to agree to prior to playing the game. Blizzard is pulling no punches here and is seeking substantial restitution in the form of $150,000 for each infringement in addition to seeking an injunction stopping the propagation of the hack and a recompense of their legal fees. This should come to quite a punch to the gut to the defendants in this case, which Blizzard has identified as…the defendants in this case. They don’t quite know their names yet, so the lawsuit just lists them as the defendants each time their names are supposed to pop up. We reached for comment, Blizzard’s spokesperson had this to say:
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you stop hacking our game now, that will be the end of it – I will not look for you, I will not pursue you… but if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you… and I will sue you.”
Actually, that might be Taken. I always get Taken and lawsuits confused. While I’m sure this is all very common in the legal field, suing without knowing the name of the people you want to sue yet feels a bit like jumping the gun to me. I feel like the first thing a lawyer should ask you when you file a lawsuit is “who are you suing” and if you answer that question with an “I don’t know yet” they should send you home and force you to do your homework before coming back.
Regardless of Blizzard not yet knowing who they want to sue beyond “those jerks,” I will say I totally understand Blizzard’s reason for wanting to sue. It isn’t just that these hackers are taking money from players just to let them cheat in a game, but rather that these actions are damaging the experience for people that are trying to play the game legitimately. There are a whole slew of games I’ve quit entirely because they were too overrun with hackers and it was killing my fun, and these people are ruining the experience for paying customers that feed into Blizzard’s massive profits. Now, multiply all this by the fact that these guys are doing it out in the open AND doing it for other people AND charging these other people to let them due it and they might as well hung a big neon “please sue us” sign over their place of business.
We will be following the course of this lawsuit closely and will let you know when more news breaks.