Before Overwatch was even out, Blizzard announced that they were going to come down hard on cheaters, banning anyone caught doing so – permanently. Of course this hasn’t stopped anyone from actually cheating, and it hasn’t stopped people from making the hacks, either. One of the major contributors to hacking in Overwatch is a German developer by the name of Bossland, makers of the WatchOver Tyrant Hack, and Blizzard is suing them. Or at least they’re trying.
This isn’t the first time Blizzard’s tried to sue Bossland; the company has made hacks for virtually all of Blizzard’s game. WatchOver Tyrant is just their latest hack. In about five years of trying, though, Blizzard hasn’t been able to make any of the lawsuits stick. That’s almost entirely thanks to Bossland being based in Germany instead of the US. Since they’re not based in the states, they don’t need to abide by any of our copyright laws.
So why would Blizzard bother suing a bot maker they’ll never be able to have prosecuted? Well firstly, maybe one of these days they’ll find a way to make something stick. More than that, though, Blizzard is suing Bossland in order to deter other bot makers, especially the ones in the US, from even trying. Much like any other form of copyright infringement, Blizzard has to legally defend basically every instance; bot makers are just the most harmful form, and Blizzard has been successful against some of the hack makers that are state side.
The Glider bot for World of Warcraft comes to mind. Way back in 2006, Blizzard sued the creators of that, MDY industries, even if it took the court until 2010 to come to a verdict, and now there are no more glider bots. The trial also helped to set the precedent that video games were licensed, and not sold. That’s something some people have trouble wrapping their heads around even today.
As for the Bossland, it’s highly doubtful that it’ll actually go anywhere, but at the very least, Blizzard is waving around their big stick, and I can’t think of a stick in the gaming industry larger than Blizzard’s.