Jan 14, 2022 - Technology

Activision seeks Call of Duty cheatmakers' real names

"Call of Duty Vanguard." Image: Activision Blizzard

Activision is asking a California court to allow it to subpoena 15 companies, including Twitter, Reddit, Google, Paypal, Discord and Coinbase, to find out the names of 15 people it says are involved in the sale of Call of Duty cheats.

Why it matters: Game companies are getting increasingly aggressive in their fight to stop rampant cheating in multiplayer games.

  • Activision’s request is part of its lawsuit against Germany-based EngineOwning, which sells cheats to many games, including several Call of Dutys.
  • In its complaint on Jan. 4, Activision said the cheats have caused the company “irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation and to lose substantial revenue."

Between the lines: In a new filing the company said it has been unable to identify everyone behind the cheats and needs help to figure out the identities behind the likes of users Bonsai, Homie, NOL3X and more.

  • Lawyers complain that EngineOwning operators have been ignoring them since 2017 and say the cheatmakers have been “trolling” them with the creation of a player group on Steam using their law firm’s name.
  • Activision argues that the subpoenas are needed “for Activision to obtain the relief it seeks.”

The big picture: The sale of cheats is big business and a big turn-off for players sick of unfair matches.

  • To stymie cheaters and woo players, Activision announced improved anti-cheat software as part of its late-2021 push for new Call of Duty releases.
  • Destiny studio Bungie is suing other cheatmakers on copyright grounds. Defendants in that case fired back this week, TorrentFreak reports, denying the infringement and saying “cheating isn’t against the law.’”
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