Blizzard Suing StarCraft II Map Hack Creators
Not only do you hate people who use cheats such as map hacking to ruin your StarCraft II experience, Blizzard hates them just as much. The developer and publisher of the top RTS game on the market filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in California against the makers of the “ValiantChaos MapHack.”
A map hacking cheat in StarCraft II gives the players using them a massive advantage over the players they’re competing against. A map hack allows a player to view all enemy units on the map (including hidden ones), what units and buildings an opponent has in production and more. This particular map hack tool reportedly has features that allows some actions to be automated and makes it difficult to detect that a map hack tool is being used.
The “ValiantChaos MapHack” is sold through the ValiantChaos forum. The MapHack tool comes with a purchase of VIP access to the forum for $62.50 Australian dollars. The tool has been out for several years but this is the first legal action that Blizzard has taken against a cheating aid for SC2.
Blizzard’s claim is that the sale of map hack tool results in a violation of the game’s End User Licence Agreement and therefore infringes on Blizzard’s copyright on StarCraft II. A quick skim of the EULA indicates a number of clauses that prohibits the use of cheats and other third-party hardware that reads the game’s data or alters gameplay. It’s safe to say that the use of map hacks violates SC2’s EULA.
The question really is whether Blizzard has any legal recourse against the people who make the hacks. Their position is that they “never [have] authorized Defendants to develop and/or distribute Hacks or other software that modifies StarCraft II or its online components.” Considering that Blizzard has failed to identify any defendants and there isn’t much in the way of legal precedent for this sort of lawsuit, it might be difficult to make this one stick even if they’re in the right.