Blizzard and Bossland GmbH in Legal Battle over Heroes of the Storm Bot
Blizzard Entertainment is once again engaging in legal battle with Germany-based Bossland GmbH, this time over Bossland’s automated bot for Heroes of the Storm, aptly titled Stormbuddy.
The case began when Blizzard approached one of the programmers for Bossland, Apoc, who helped develop the Stormbuddy bot. Apoc was being threatened with legal action due to his involvement with three automated-bots: Honorbuddy, Demonbuddy and Stormbuddy. Blizzard accused Apoc of being the main developer of these products, but Bossland states that they are clearly marked as the owner on the sites, with Apoc simply being a freelance worker for them.
Apoc did relinquish the source code for Stormbuddy to Blizzard, which was something Bossland knew when they “commended him to take the deal,” offered by Blizzard as an alternative to legal battle. “We were informed that the deal compelled Apoc to submit the entire source code of Stormbuddy, which is actually the intellectual property of Bossland GmbH, to Blizzard,” Bossland CEO Zwetan Letschew told Torrent Freak. Due to Blizzard now also owning the product, “we [Bossland] are sure that Stormbuddy can no longer be developed as it is, and that it can no longer be sold.” [Source]
The buddies sold by Bossland are automated-gameplay bots that assist players in a variety of games, from Diablo III and World of Warcraft, to World of Tanks and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Their services range from €2.98 EUR ($3.17 USD) to €59.98 EUR ($63.87 USD).
Because Bossland has pulled Stormbuddy from their storefront, they are not only suing Blizzard for illegally taking source code from someone who was not the owner or authorized, but also for lost sales.
Blizzard, speaking to Kotaku, offered the following statement,
Bossland’s entire business is based in cheating, and the use of their bots negatively impacts our global player community. That’s why we do not tolerate cheating in our games, and it’s why our players overwhelmingly support that policy. We’ve already won numerous cases against Bossland in Germany (where they’re based), and despite their tactics to delay the ongoing proceedings and the related repercussions, we’re confident that the court system will continue to validate our claims and ultimately stop the distribution of these cheating bots.