Twitter Private game servers are a topic that is often kept quiet in gaming circles. Some gamers appreciate the cost-free nature of private servers while others utilize these unregulated areas to play the MMO in a different manner as opposed to the live game (for example playing on a "classic" private server that doesn't permit expansion packs). No matter what the reason game companies generally frown on these types of activities. In the last week, Blizzard frowned at a particular private server and was awarded $88 million for the effort.
Blizzard filed a lawsuit against Alyson Rives, the owner of Scapegaming and a private World of Warcraft Server in October of 2009. Mccainsource.com Reeves was making profits from the business by using microtransactions on the server. The judge ruled that there was indeed copyright infringement against Blizzard and ordered Scapegaming pay $85.5M in damages, $3 million in improper profits, $63,600 in attorney fees as well as $85.5M in statutory penalties. Reeves may appeal the suit at this stage.
Blizzard as in the bnetd cases, is sending a clear message that those who attempt to alter their code shouldn't do this. Scapegaming's Facebook page isn't full of support for the company and we can imagine that many private server operators are thinking long and long about whether the risk is worth the risk this week.
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