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Cheat creators ordered to pay $10 Million in damages to publishers of PUBG Mobile

cormack12

Gold Member
Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/pubg-mobile-cheat-makers-pay-10-million-damages

As detailed in a press release, federal courts in the US and Germany recently ruled in favor of PUBG Mobile publishers Tencent Games and Krafton in a lawsuit launched against members of a hacking group known for creating and distributing cheats within the game.

As part of the ruling, the defendants have been ordered to pay the publishers around $10 million USD in damages. In addition, the group has also been ordered to provide details pertaining to how they were able to exploit the game in the first place and are under strict instructions to cease any future illegal activities involving game cheating.

While a number of games such as Call of Duty: Warzone have looked to combat cheating through building upon and improving their built-in anti-cheat systems, further legal options are also being explored by a number of companies. Most recently, Activision announced that it had launched a lawsuit against EngineOwning - a popular cheats distributor who is accused of creating and distributing cheats throughout a range of Call of Duty titles. With that in mind, it's likely that Activision will be encouraged by the recent ruling in favour of PUBG Mobile and will be hoping for a similar outcome in their own pursuits.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
Napoleon Dynamite Reaction GIF
 

lukilladog

Member
And of course they are not gonna use that money to hire more people to monitor reports of cheating and other stuff.
 

LordCBH

Member
Good. I’m perfectly fine if the peddlers of cheats are financially ruined till the end of time.
 

Bogeyman

Banned
As a developer, I'm always taken aback by the incredible technical feats cheat developers achieve. Circumventing sophisticated anti cheat systems is IMHO one of the most challenging things you could possibly do as a developer.

Having said that, it absolutely wrecks online games and everyone using cheats is indefensibly a pathetic idiot.

Should it be punishable by law? I dunno, I'm honestly kind of torn
 
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Boglin

Member
That's cheating in a toy.
Not in a legal tournament with prized rewards.
Just cheating... so most that can be said is that these fools ruined someone's evening
Yeah, just a ruined evening is the usual result for most consumers unless the cheating is so rampant that the multi-player becomes unplayable forever, removing the value of the purchase.
If the publishers of the games were able to prove huge monetary damages, then the ruling makes sense.
 

rofif

Member
Yeah, just a ruined evening is the usual result for most consumers unless the cheating is so rampant that the multi-player becomes unplayable forever, removing the value of the purchase.
If the publishers of the games were able to prove huge monetary damages, then the ruling makes sense.
That's a good point.
I stopped playing Battlefield V... because I got bored of it but also I was annoyed because every night there was someone teleporting, invincible or just ticking down enemy team tickets super fast
 

MiguelItUp

Gold Member
Surely they won't even be able to afford that, oof.

I mean, I don't respect hackers and cheaters at all, but why not warn them about the action first? I feel like that may be enough. But just going directly into owning millions is ruthless.

I feel it's excessive. But at the same time, creating a game that's solely online and it's ruined by hackers. I can understand being tired of it...
 

jakinov

Member
Surely they won't even be able to afford that, oof.

I mean, I don't respect hackers and cheaters at all, but why not warn them about the action first? I feel like that may be enough. But just going directly into owning millions is ruthless.

I feel it's excessive. But at the same time, creating a game that's solely online and it's ruined by hackers. I can understand being tired of it...
I dunno a lot of companies send emails telling people to stop and threaten them first. But at the same time this isn't the first time someone got taken to court for creating cheats. It's not really excessive some of these cheat makers make a lot of money and you do the damage you pay the price. If you destroy a lambo you have to pay for the lambo, not a flat fee for destroying a car.. You have to consider the actual damages being done too, they have to keep paying people to monitor and tweak to adapt to these cheaters. They have to increase moderation and start building systems to punish these cheaters and build systems to detect these cheaters who try to circumvent and continue to cheat. Remember that people are paid salaries and given work benefits.Then you have to look at the fact that they have to waste money dealing with cheaters instead of doing other things that make them more money like create more DLC/comsetics. Similiar to iif you were a construction worker and I break ur legs, you don't only have hospital bills to pay, but I prevented you from working for months. You also have to consider the people not playing and not buying more content or any damage to the game/brand. People even here have made most whining about how Warzone is full of cheaters and it ruins the fun.
 

Yoboman

Member
Surely they won't even be able to afford that, oof.

I mean, I don't respect hackers and cheaters at all, but why not warn them about the action first? I feel like that may be enough. But just going directly into owning millions is ruthless.

I feel it's excessive. But at the same time, creating a game that's solely online and it's ruined by hackers. I can understand being tired of it...
I imagine they are making a fair chunk of money selling these hacks, so fuck em. I dont think this is individuals who installed an aim bot being sued
 

Bogeyman

Banned
Does anyone know based on what legal grounds these lawsuits were actually filed? As in, what specific law has been broken?

The only thing I could come up with is some sort of "circumventing protection mechanisms", which I think in terms of drm is explicitly illegal in some counties. Not sure if it's down to that though?

(Also, its very common for anti cheat systems to scan for specific drivers, sometimes even for very specific cheats - would be quite funny if publishers were legally vulnerable for similar reasons :D )
 

HeisenbergFX4

Gold Member
As a developer, I'm always taken aback by the incredible technical feats cheat developers achieve. Circumventing sophisticated anti cheat systems is IMHO one of the most challenging things you could possibly do as a developer.

Having said that, it absolutely wrecks online games and everyone using cheats is indefensibly a pathetic idiot.

Should it be punishable by law? I dunno, I'm honestly kind of torn
And how proud Activision was of its new Warzone anticheat though I will say have seen way less cheaters but they are still out there

 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Does anyone know based on what legal grounds these lawsuits were actually filed? As in, what specific law has been broken?

The only thing I could come up with is some sort of "circumventing protection mechanisms", which I think in terms of drm is explicitly illegal in some counties. Not sure if it's down to that though?

(Also, its very common for anti cheat systems to scan for specific drivers, sometimes even for very specific cheats - would be quite funny if publishers were legally vulnerable for similar reasons :D )
Cheats are a DMCA violation.
Cheats are also said to damage Activisions products/the experience/and their overall business (playing with cheaters isnt fun....COD is supposed to be fun or some shit like that).
Cheats damage Activision goodwill with legit players...again damaging the brand.
Cheats make legit players quit the game.....so loss of possible revenue.
Cheats lead to games getting bad press/coverage in social media....basically they rehash the same shit over and over about how cheats are hurting their business and violating their protections or whatever.


You can read which DMCA violation here:
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Yeah, just a ruined evening is the usual result for most consumers unless the cheating is so rampant that the multi-player becomes unplayable forever, removing the value of the purchase.
If the publishers of the games were able to prove huge monetary damages, then the ruling makes sense.
It's up to them to protect their game. Invest in R&, pay some game masters and so on. But no, sue is economically advantageous and riles idiots up.
 

Bogeyman

Banned
Cheats are a DMCA violation.
Cheats are also said to damage Activisions products/the experience/and their overall business (playing with cheaters isnt fun....COD is supposed to be fun or some shit like that).
Cheats damage Activision goodwill with legit players...again damaging the brand.
Cheats make legit players quit the game.....so loss of possible revenue.
Cheats lead to games getting bad press/coverage in social media....basically they rehash the same shit over and over about how cheats are hurting their business and violating their protections or whatever.


You can read which DMCA violation here:

The copyright claim, fair enough (ignoring that dmca is fairly shit in itself, but that's a different story). Although I'd still be quite sure that loads of anti cheat software is very heavily based in on reverse engineering cheats themselves, which seems a little ironic!

But damaging the brand / impacting revenue sounds a bit odd to me (from an intuitive point of view - I'm sure there's some legal case to be made).
I could buy the game, and just keep killing my own team with friendly fire or somehow else ruin other people's fun. That would also very likely lead to all that.
But then again, surely nobody would ever be able to make a reasonable legal case against me there.
 

NinjaBoiX

Member
Cheaters are just the worst.

On the flip-side, I don't particularly want to see Tencent or Activision getting more money for anything.
Nah, fuck that. Yeah, those companies are hardly Little Mama’s Bakery, but they’re running a legitimate business that you can fully choose not to support.

I say rinse the cheat creators for every penny, they’re scumbags making an easy buck by capitalising on ruining everyone else’s fun. They got what was coming to them and I have zero sympathy.

Hopefully it’ll send a message.
 

NinjaBoiX

Member
Should it be punishable by law? I dunno, I'm honestly kind of torn
It absolutely should be, there is no thin line as far as I’m concerned.

They’re selling code to alter the game to benefit their customers, to the detriment of everyone else playing by the rules.

As someone who’s presumably an avid gamer, I don’t get your ethical struggle here.
 

Boglin

Member
It's up to them to protect their game. Invest in R&, pay some game masters and so on. But no, sue is economically advantageous and riles idiots up.
I'm not sure I'm understanding you. The whole purpose of suing is to justifiably make another party financially accountable for damages that were done. It's up to the developers of the cheats to not get caught if they don't want to face consequences.

If I were running a restaurant and pranksters were repeatedly sabotaging my patron's meals to taste like shit, then my restaurant would end up being financial hit and possibly shut down as news of it spread. If I caught the pranksters then I'd probably sue them and I'd be kind of miffed if someone said I'm only doing that because it's economically advantageous instead of hiring additional security.
To say it would behoove a company to protect itself is one thing and perfectly reasonable. To say the attackers shouldn't be punished for potentially ruining someone's business is head scratching to me.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
The copyright claim, fair enough (ignoring that dmca is fairly shit in itself, but that's a different story). Although I'd still be quite sure that loads of anti cheat software is very heavily based in on reverse engineering cheats themselves, which seems a little ironic!

But damaging the brand / impacting revenue sounds a bit odd to me (from an intuitive point of view - I'm sure there's some legal case to be made).
I could buy the game, and just keep killing my own team with friendly fire or somehow else ruin other people's fun. That would also very likely lead to all that.
But then again, surely nobody would ever be able to make a reasonable legal case against me there.

Rampant stream sniping and team killing will get you banned from most games.
Griefing will get you banned from most games.
The thing is Activison isnt really going to sue you for that.
Theyll just ban you.....which is the same thing they do to people who use cheats.
They dont sue you for using cheats.

But if you are making cheats and making money doing so, you can see where they could sue your ass for it.
 

MiguelItUp

Gold Member
I dunno a lot of companies send emails telling people to stop and threaten them first. But at the same time this isn't the first time someone got taken to court for creating cheats. It's not really excessive some of these cheat makers make a lot of money and you do the damage you pay the price. If you destroy a lambo you have to pay for the lambo, not a flat fee for destroying a car.. You have to consider the actual damages being done too, they have to keep paying people to monitor and tweak to adapt to these cheaters. They have to increase moderation and start building systems to punish these cheaters and build systems to detect these cheaters who try to circumvent and continue to cheat. Remember that people are paid salaries and given work benefits.Then you have to look at the fact that they have to waste money dealing with cheaters instead of doing other things that make them more money like create more DLC/comsetics. Similiar to iif you were a construction worker and I break ur legs, you don't only have hospital bills to pay, but I prevented you from working for months. You also have to consider the people not playing and not buying more content or any damage to the game/brand. People even here have made most whining about how Warzone is full of cheaters and it ruins the fun.
Yeah, true. To be honest I frequently forget about the amount of money THEY make as well off of the hacks they sell. But to be fair it's also an avenue that I'm completely ignorant about, haha. Yeah, that's kinda what I was alluding to, the idea of AAA/AA titles with millions spent in development essentially going belly up because of cheaters running rampant in their project(s). Something has to stop it.
I imagine they are making a fair chunk of money selling these hacks, so fuck em. I dont think this is individuals who installed an aim bot being sued
Good point, I frequently forget how much money can be made.
 

Bogeyman

Banned
As someone who’s presumably an avid gamer, I don’t get your ethical struggle here.

More so than an avid gamer, I'm an avid developer.

I hate the notion of buying software, but then having legal restrictions of what you can do with and to that software purely locally on your own machine.

Second - and I'm making an educated guess based on the discussion here now, as I'm neither familiar with the technicalities of the cheat this lawsuit related to, nor the exact legal justification of the verdict - but from what I understand, the crux of it all is likely mainly that reverse engineering their code presented some sort of IP infringement. Which SUCKS.
Reverse engineering is an absolutely essential means in software development that has brought us countless invaluable things - including anti virus software, (ironically) anti cheat tools, game emulators, "ethical" cracks (i.e. software that wouldn't otherwise be playable anymore), mods for games that had no official mod support, and even stuff like Wine/Proton in the Unix world. And yes, the latter is struggling hard to avoid potential IP infringements of Microsoft's IP, I'd imagine their development would be TONS easier if the legal situation wasn't as it is.

So, bottom line - I could care less if less cheats are available commercially, if anything that's obviously a good thing. But I don't like the principles based on which this seems to be happening.
 

HeisenbergFX4

Gold Member
Cheating should be blocked, not sued.
Start hardware banning and see how fast cheats die especially since Xbox at least can see when the cheating devices are connected to systems but haven't yet taken a stand on them and had decided to leave it up to each game dev on how they want to handle it
 

hlm666

Member
Cheating should be blocked, not sued.
That means they get to keep the money they made, blocking cheating actually helps them make more money. It's why they can sell subscriptions to cheats so when ones blocked the subscribers can get the new one days later. Some guy writing his own hack sure block him, but these groups whose business is selling subscriptions will keep doing it until they are not profitable.
 
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