Blizzard wins $88m private server ruling

Pirate made $3 million in micro-transactions with community of half a million

Blizzard Entertainment has won a court judgement against the operator of an unofficial World of Warcraft server, winning $88 million in damages as a result.

The World of Warcraft creators had accused Scapegaming, run by defendant Alyson Reeves, of a number of copyright infringements, as well as unfair competition and circumvention of copyright protection systems.

Scapegaming did not respond to the lawsuit and as a result Judge Margaret M Morrow of the California Central District Court found in favour of Blizzard by default.

The $88 million total is comprised of more than $3million in lost profits, $85.4 million in statutory damages and $64,000 in legal fees. The ability of Scapegaming to pay the damages, including interest, is unknown.

Pirate servers for massively multi-player online games are not uncommon, offering users free access to games and often allowing faster character progression.

Scapegaming was found to have made more than $3 million via PayPal micro-transactions for items and character levels. The community that arose around the pirate server had reached almost half a million by the time of the lawsuit. This figure was used to calculate the level of statutory damage due to Blizzard.

Related stories

Blizzard knuckles down on community as Valve fiddles

A few graphs won't fix review bombing and abuse; if Valve wants tips, it could look to the tough decisions and hard work Blizzard is doing on Overwatch

By Rob Fahey

Blizzard has taken disciplinary action against 480,000 Overwatch accounts

Jeff Kaplan's team devotes "a tremendous amount of time and resources to punishing people," and it's slowing progress of the game

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.