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Blizzard suing popular Overwatch cheat makers for copyright infringement

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All over the "Watchover Tyrant"

Blizzard Entertainment is once again suing German company Bossland GMBH, best known for creating the "Watchover Tyrant" cheat tool being used in Overwatch, for copyright infringement and unfair competition.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in a federal court in California, Blizzard said that the different cheating tools Bossland has released, including the Watchover Tyrant, has caused "irreparable damage" for the company. The video game publisher said its games survive and thrive on "being enjoyable and fair for players of all skill levels, and Blizzard expends an enormous amount of time and money to ensure that this is the case."

With tools like the Watchover Tyrant so readily accessible for Overwatch players to download, however, it destroys the "integrity of the Blizzard Games, thereby alienating and frustrating legitimate players and diverting revenue from Blizzard," according to the lawsuit.

On top of the tool leading to a loss of revenue for Blizzard, the publisher claims Watchover Tyrant leads to unfair competition and violates the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision. Essentially, Blizzard is claiming that Bossland's tool is leading to Overwatch being used in a way the publisher never intended it to be used and, more importantly, in a manner that Blizzard doesn't want to allow. Just last month, Blizzard said it would be taking cheating in Overwatch very seriously, banning thousands of accounts just one week after the game's release. Players in the game's forum also called out Blizzard's strict no-cheating policy, noting that the publisher was being aggressive with banning cheaters from playing.

In the lawsuit, Blizzard claims that the tools have led to a loss of "millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue," and has caused the publisher "to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation." Blizzard notes in the lawsuit that one of the ways Bossland is able to make the tool is through the use of third-party contractors that obtain illegal access to the game and then repurpose it for the hack.

Blizzard is asking for monetary compensation for the alleged damage done to the publisher as well as punitive damages to be handed out to Bossland. Blizzard has sued Bossland previously in Germany over a cheating tool developed for Blizzard's popular MOBA, Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard lost that case and was ordered to pay both Bossland's legal fees.

Blizzard isn't the only publisher seeking legal action against cheat tool makers for copyright infringement and unfair competition, either. Last month, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against a German gamer that the developer said created a game-cheating hack for its MOBA title, Paragon, that was being sold for a monthly subscription fee.