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Blizzard wins $8 million judgment against Overwatch cheat maker

Legal fight is not over, however

Overwatch - a promo shot from 2016 showing the full cast
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Blizzard Entertainment has won a default judgment against a Germany-based maker of cheats for Overwatch, World of Warcraft and other games. Bossland GMBH has been ordered to pay Blizzard $8.6 million by a federal court in California.

The judgment was entered after Bossland chose not to defend itself, following a denial of its motion earlier this month to have the case thrown out for a lack of jurisdiction. The money accounts for 42,818 counts of copyright infringement; Blizzard argued that Bossland, in creating bots called "Honorbuddy," "Watchover Tyrant," "Hearthbuddy" and others, had bypassed Blizzard anti-cheat protection, altered its games without permission, and effectively resold its code.

Blizzard brought the suit against Bossland for its development and sale of the Overwatch cheat tool back in July, a little more than a month after the game's launch. Blizzard has sued Bossland before, in Germany, over a Heroes of the Storm cheat, but the publisher lost that case and was ordered to pay Bossland's legal fees.

TorrentFreak reported that Bossland's CEO elected not to defend the case in the United States, but would rather contest the judgment after it was entered. A blog entry dated March 18 said Bossland would also contest the earlier ruling against its motion to dismiss.

The default judgment prohibits Bossland from selling any of the cheat products applicable to Blizzard games within the United States. The monetary award granted to Blizzard includes its attorney's fees and court costs.

Blizzard argued that not only were Bossland's bots an illegal modification of Blizzard's intellectual property, their sale and use damaged Blizzard's business by introducing unfair competition to games that diminished the experiences of legitimate players and discouraged others from playing. "The in-game cheating also harms Blizzard's goodwill and reputation," it argued.

Bossland, in another blog post, notes that four lawsuits against it still are pending in Germany. Its website is still accessible, though there is no link for the “Watchover Tyrant” bot. Pages for other bots still bear the claim “Botting is not against any law.” That may be true, but Blizzard has banned users of the cheats before.

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