German company Bossland has created multiple popular bots for Blizzard Entertainment games, including "StormBuddy", "HonorBuddy", and "DemonBuddy", for Heroes of the Storm, World of WarCraft, and Diablo II, respectively. Unsurprisingly, creating cheating tools has landed the company in legal hot water, with Blizzard filing a lawsuit against James Enright and several other unnamed parties.
However, that's where this story takes an interesting turn. While Enright is described as the mastermind behind the operation, that may not be completely accurate. The websites for the cheating programs list Bossland GmbH as the owner, and Bossland’s CEO Zwetan Letschew states that Enright is a freelancer. Apparently, Blizzard offered Enright a deal, and while all of the details have not been made public, it seems it compelled him to hand over the source code for the Heroes of the Storm bot, StormBuddy.
This has caused outrage for Letschew, and led to him making the following statement: “Today Blizzard acted in a manner as shady as possible for a multi-billion-dollar corporation. We were informed that the deal compelled [Enright] to submit the entire source code of Stormbuddy, which is actually the intellectual property of Bossland GmbH, to Blizzard. Activision Blizzard is fully aware that Bossland GmbH, and not Apoc, is the owner of the intellectual property of Honorbuddy, Demonbuddy and Stormbuddy, considering that there are six cases that are still in progress […] in Germany.”
Letschew now accuses Blizzard of copyright infringement: “Blizzard now possesses the whole Stormbuddy source code. There was no permission given by Bossland GmbH, nor were we contacted by Activision Blizzard, nor had [Enright] the rights to give out our intellectual property.”
It can certainly be difficult to tell who's in the right or wrong in cases like these, but a Blizzard representative did release this statement regarding the matter:
“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.
We’ll continue to aggressively defend our games and services, within the bounds of the law, in an effort to provide the best possible experience for our players. We want to use this as an opportunity to remind players who might not be aware—using bots, such as those distributed by Bossland, to automate gameplay in our games will result in a loss of access to those games.”
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Heroes of the Storm Game Page.