Call of Duty: Warzone publisher sues popular cheat developer

Activision, the publisher of the popular battle royale game Call of Duty: Warzone, has taken legal action against the owners of a popular cheat software site, EngineOwning. The lawsuit alleges that cheats sold by EngineOwning caused “irreparable damage” to the reputations of Call of Duty and Activision, and asks the court to issue an immediate and permanent injunction against the site, preventing it from operating in the United States. United.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 4 in the U.S. District Court in California, alleges that EngineOwning develops, sells, distributes, markets, and supports “malicious cheats” that include aimbots, triggerbots, and wallhacks, as well as software that claims to create cheat software. undetectable by Activision’s anti-cheat technology.

Activision’s lawsuit points out that EngineOwning sells cheats for a range of its games, including several Call of Duty titles like Warzone, Black Ops III and Modern Warfare III. The site is currently developing similar cheats for Overwatch, which falls under Activision Blizzard, and the site itself offers cheat “services” for non-Activision games such as Battlefield V, Halo Infinite, and Splitgate.

In addition to a court order prohibiting EngineOwning from operating in the United States, the lawsuit also seeks financial compensation – the Activision lawsuit seeks all proceeds from the sale of cheats for Activision’s games, damages – punitive interest for a count of unfair competition and money to cover all related attorney fees.

This could amount to a substantial sum, as Activision claims the cheat maker’s software has been used in “thousands” of violations of its terms of service by users, and has caused Activision to divert significant resources from the company to develop new methods of detecting cheats and manually banning users. “According to Activision’s estimate, such damages could amount to millions of dollars,” reads the lawsuit.

For its part, EngineOwning has yet to make a public statement about the lawsuit. His most recent tweet features a video of cheat software working in Overwatch.

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the State of California (since extended to quality assurance and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “a tone deaf,” employees have staged a strike, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change. in the business. The trial is ongoing; follow the latest developments here.

In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to complaints of sexual misconduct and discrimination by its employees, in connection with which Kotick was reportedly subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labor practice lawsuit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a labor union, also in September. In another separate development, Activision Blizzard has reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to resolve grievances and further strengthen harassment and discrimination prevention policies and programs.” In a subsequent letter to employees, the company announced the end of forced arbitration, a $250 million initiative to improve diversity, and a significant pay cut for Kotick.

A new report released in November now claims that Bobby Kotick knew about and deleted the reports of sexual misconduct. Kotick responded with an official statement saying the Wall Street Journal article “portrays an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, me personally and my leadership.” In response, Activision Blizzard’s board said it “remains confident” in Kotick’s leadership.