Gleiss Lutz wins another case for Blizzard Entertainment: Sale of cheat software for e-sports game Overwatch unlawful
US computer game developer Blizzard Entertainment has again prevailed before the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg against Bossland GmbH, a leading vendor of bot and cheat software, and obtained a ban on the sale of cheat software for the popular e-sports game Overwatch.
The Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch games series have made Blizzard one of the world’s leading video game developers. Overwatch was released in May 2016 and soon became one of the world’s best-loved and most successful e-sports games. Since 2018, Overwatch has also been played by professionally organised teams in the international Overwatch League.
Bossland GmbH developed and sold software that gives the virtual heroes in Overwatch tools and abilities that are not available in regular gameplay.
The Hamburg Regional Court had already ruled in favour of Blizzard in 2018. The Higher Regional Court of Hamburg dismissed Bossland GmbH’s appeal in its judgment of 21 October 2020, case 15 U 26/19.
The Higher Regional Court ruled that the sale of prohibited utility or cheat software for competitive e-sports games like Overwatch is anticompetitive. Given the reaction of players who observed the rules, the use of cheat software could significantly impact Overwatch sales, it ruled.
The Federal Court of Justice had already ruled in 2017 that the sale of automation software (bots) for World of Warcraft is anticompetitive. Gleiss Lutz also represented Blizzard in these proceedings: https://www.gleisslutz.com/en/node/15089.
The following Gleiss Lutz team represented Blizzard: Dr. Andreas Wehlau (partner), Dr. Matthias Werner (counsel, both lead), Dr. Theresa Uhlenhut (all IP/IT, Munich).