In a decisive move to tackle hacking in Warzone, Activision has filed a lawsuit against top cheat provider, EngineOwning. While this isn’t the first time Activision has sued a cheat provider, it is the first sign of action in a while that the company has taken against such platforms. Last time, in November of 2021, Activision successfully brought about the closure of Golden Gun, a relatively small-time cheat provider.
Now, the legal eyes of Activision are trained firmly on EngineOwning, arguably the most prolific cheat provider in the market. However, while Activision is taking action to prevent Call of Duty cheats from being distributed, EngineOwning still provides ‘hacks’ for many other multiplayer titles.
Something’s Gotta Give
Warzone has been plagued incessantly by hackers for several months. At one point, the field of hackers and cheaters in the popular battle royale became so large that it caused several top Twitch streamers to abandon the platform. There were vast swathes of hackers and cheaters being banned, but it wasn’t enough to stem the tide. To respond to the ongoing threat, an anti-cheat software named Ricochet was introduced to Warzone, but it hasn’t been completely successful.
So, the aim of the game now is to tackle the issues at the source – the cheat providers themselves.
As of January 4th, 2022, Activision has filed a lawsuit against EngineOwning, a Germany-based cheat provider. As the lawsuit claims, EngineOwning has allegedly caused millions of dollars in damages – but there are no claims made for titles outside of the Activision bubble. This ‘bubble’ also includes Overwatch, a multiplayer game backed by Activision Blizzard, for which EngineOwning is reportedly developing cheats as we speak.
Furthermore, the cheat provider has promised to produce and distribute cheats for Call of Duty: Vanguard:
Won’t Give Up Without a Fight
Reportedly, almost one million accounts have been banned from playing on the Warzone platform. In a statement published in October of 2021, Activision expressed its vehemence against cheat providers, stating:
Cheating ruins the fun for everyone. No-one likes a cheater. Our goal is to deliver a fun and fair gaming experience. For our developers. For our fans. And most importantly… For Call of Duty players everywhere. Cheaters aren’t welcome. There’s no tolerance for cheaters, and soon you’ll know what we mean.
Bizarrely, it took almost two years for Activision and Raven Software to implement an anti-cheat software into Warzone. The bold statement made by Activision came too little, too late, and even today, the platform is still plagued by hackers. Admittedly, there are way fewer – but they are still there.
Should Activision be successful in its lawsuit against EngineOwning, a huge portion of the cheating market will be disrupted. However, as we’ve seen before, the cheating industry is something of a hydra – cut off one head, and another will surely rise.
Ultimately, cheating has existed in multiplayer-focused games for more than a decade – and probably before that. There were cheaters in 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and there will probably be cheaters in 2022’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Unfortunately, cheaters are becoming more sophisticated, with some slipping through and disrupting esports tournaments.
Let’s just hope Activision keeps up the efforts to stop them.