Blizzard vs Bot Programmers; winner takes cash, possibly souls!

Some days you roll out of bed and realize that you shouldn’t even have made the effort. That’s probably how the makers of WoWGlider felt when they got the Vivendi legal team all up in their “biznass” over the third party program they developed that allows people to functionally play World of Warcraft without having to be present at a computer.

WoWGlider is your quintessential bot program. It allows your character to go out, hunt monsters, kill them and then loot their corpses without any human interaction. Of course, this makes leveling and loot gathering extremely easy, and apparently much easier than Blizzard ever intended.

At 8:30AM (the crack of mid-morning) on October 25th, Michael Donnelly, the creator of WoWGlider, heard a rapping upon his chamber door. Was it a raven? Nevermore. Instead, he faced down the legal shotgun barrel of Vivendi Universal Games. Vivendi, the owner of World of Warcraft (and a TON of other games you love) had a bone to pick with Mr. Donnelly and they’ll be pickin’ that bone all the way to court if Mr. Donnelly doesn’t comply with their demands.

No agreement between his lawyers and Vivendi’s mecha-assault law squadron could be reached, and instead of allowing them to get the first salvo in, Mr. Donnelly has filed a claim in court against them, that you can see here.

This is a landmark case because while he was in violation of their TOS, Blizzard has been very supportive of the third-party program community of their mega-hit MMO, which has led to other MMO developers to be less Sony-esque in their treatment of such things. This case could decide how Blizzard and other MMO companies in the future make decisions regarding any and all third-party programs.

Earnest Cavalli
I'm Nex. I used to work here but my love of cash led me to take a gig with Wired. I still keep an eye on the 'toid, but to see what I'm really up to, you should either hit up my Vox or go have a look at the Wired media empire.