Blizzard continues to demonstrate it's serious about forbidding cheaters in its games, filing suit in the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles against three programmers it alleges made and sold hacks for StarCraft II
5,000 players accused of cheating have already been banned this month, a follow-through on a warning Blizzard issued in mid-September
. Violators aren't just prohibited from the game in which they're found to have been cheating, but receive a permanent ban from the Battle.net service, Blizzard has said.
With the new suit, first unearthed by consumer website GameSpot
, the company's aiming to penalize programmers who enable the cheats, too. The new suit accuses two Canadian programmers, "Permaphrost" and "Cranix," and a Peruvian one, "Linuxawesome", as well as others not individually identified.
"Just days after the release of StarCraft II
, Defendants already had developed, marketed, and distributed to the public a variety of hacks and cheats designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the StarCraft II
online game experience," said the company in the filing.
"In fact, on the very day that StarCraft II
was released, representatives of the hacks Web site advised members of the public that 'our staff is already planning new releases for this game,'" continues the lawsuit.
Blizzard alleges copyright infringement -- not only on the part of the programmers themselves, but as they allegedly induced others to commit infringement -- and seeks to deprive the defendants of any financial gain they made from the hacks. It wants the offending programs removed from distribution, and seeks damages for itself as well.
"The harm to Blizzard from Defendants' conduct is immediate, massive and irreparable," continues the suite. "By distributing the Hacks to the public, Defendants cause serious harm to the value of StarCraft II
. Among other things, Defendants irreparably harm the ability of Blizzard's legitimate customers (i.e. those who purchase and use unmodified games) to enjoy and participate in the competitive online experience."
"That, in turn, causes users to grow dissatisfied with the game, lose interest in the game, and communicate that dissatisfaction, thereby resulting in lost sales of the game or 'add-on' packs and expansions thereto," says the suit.