Activision Blizzard Sues Hackers: 'Starcraft 2' Cheating Service ValiantChaos Targeted For Game Hacks

By Steve Buja , Updated May 22, 2014 11:03 AM EDT
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Blizzard Entertainment has filed a lawsuit in California on May 19 against a group of hackers who have been creating and selling cheats and hacks for the popular real-time strategy game, Starcraft II.

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First reported by Torrentfreak, the brief claims that a group of as yet unknown and unnamed programmers have created a popular hack known as the 'ValiantChaos MapHack' which allows players to exploit the programming and gain a competitive advantage against their opponents. The hack is available to any who would like to "give a donation" of $62.50 to the ValiantChaos forum.

According to the lawsuit, the ValiantChaos MapHack "permits its user to view areas of the game "map" that are normally obscured, to monitor the other player's unit movements, and to access other information that normally is not available to the player. VCMH also automates certain tasks within the game.These gameplay changes give the player using VCMH a significant competitive advantage over others." Remember, this is not real war, this is Starcraft.

Blizzard states: "At issue in this lawsuit is the insidious and harmful practice of developing, distributing, and selling software products (sometimes referred to as "hacks" or "cheats") that modify or alter the online "multiplayer" component of Blizzard's computer games to give their users an unfair competitive advantage against other players. These hacks and cheats not only disrupt or impair the online experience for purchasers of the computer game, but, as set forth more fully herein, cause serious and irreparable harm to Blizzard and its products."

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These hacks undermine the core philosophy of the game and by using them, you ruin the experience for every Starcraft II player out there, to put it in other words. The Terms of Use, which you didn't read obviously, but you should know regardless, states that you are not allowed to "use cheats, automation software (bots), hacks,mods or any other unauthorized third-party software designed to modify the Service, any Game or any Game experience;"

No names were given in the lawsuit, the defendants to the suit are "software programmers, or "hackers" who operate, collaborate on, and distribute unlawful hacks and cheats online."

The ValiantChaos MapHack remains for sale for the time being, though Blizzard has issued a demand for an injunction which will pull the software from the site. The hack has been widely available since the game was released back in 2010 and has generated thousands of dollars in sales to this point. Blizzard does not go outright and make this an issue of money, but it's clear that the hacks undermine the enjoyment and therefore, the sales of the game. People who cheat buy less and people who play the cheaters suddenly don't find the game fun anymore. The resulting copyright infringement damages Blizzard is asking for could number in the millions.

Players who have downloaded the hack will not be targeted. Blizzard's aim here is not towards the individual users, who will probably only be banned from battle.net, but towards ensuring that the hack itself is eradicated.

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