Cambridge, UK –1st February, 2012 – Jagex Games Studio, a leading independent developer and publisher of online games, finalized its victory in a two year legal battle with the developers of iBot, a RuneScape specific macroing/botting software platform; which had harmed RuneScape.com for a number of years until the Bot Nuke in October 2011.
The judgment entered February 1, 2012, against brothers Mark and Eric Snellman, who are trading under Impulse Software, resulted in them being ordered to pay Jagex damages in excess of six figures. In addition, an injunction was placed upon them to prevent them from ever developing botting software for any Jagex product, helping other people develop or use botting software or discussing Jagex, the lawsuit or RuneScape.
Jagex has been engaged in a number of legal battles over the past couple of years to tackle the botting and gold farming within RuneScape and the adverse impact it has on the game and valued community. The result announced yesterday is a significant win for a games company and could set a precedent for future legal cases regarding this kind of abuse.
Mark Gerhard, CEO & CTO of Jagex, stated: “We began the legal action against the Snellmans over two years ago as a part of our ongoing commitment to ridding RuneScape of bots and gold farmers. Faced with this significant challenge we have continued to demonstrate that we will never shy away from difficult battles, we don’t compromise on taking the right course of action and, regardless of the time, money or effort involved we always do what it takes in order to protect our community”.
This announcement follows the news that the recent in-game action to combat botting has been a huge success. Jagex developed a suite of code obfuscation tools, code named the ‘Cluster Flutter’ and coupled with various other countermeasures both technical and in-game, have, since their release in October 2011, rendered 98% of all in-game bots obsolete. Neither iBOT nor any other bots developers have been able to publish working updates to overcome the “Bot Nuke” despite their continued efforts to do so.
Mark Gerhard added “Technically speaking this is a veritable arms race, there is no permanent triumph in cyber security. The only serious long term strategy is to ensure you continuously innovate well ahead of the challenges faced today; that way you should hopefully always be a few steps ahead in the future. I’m happy to say 1337 Ninja’s are already well underway with “Optimus” Jagex’s next generation obfuscation and encryption framework which will be released shortly.”
Speaking about the Bot Nuke , Daniel Clough, VP of RuneScape said: “Jagex have been working on anti-botting and gold farming measure for a very long time and have continually been ensuring that the games integrity and community are protected. This action has been central to both our longevity and success over the years and I’m sure it will put us in very good stead for the years to come. We launched ‘Bot Nuke Day’ in October and instantly wiped out 98% of all the bots in the game. We are delighted with the results of our efforts so far and are pleased to hear the positive comments from our players.
The economy has settled down over the past few months, the game has truly been flourishing since then and as a result the team and I are all looking forward to a great 2012 for RuneScape.”
As a condition of this case the Snellmans have been ordered to give up all websites, domains, source code and customer details to Jagex along with all the details of all those individuals who have developed scripts for iBOT and sold or re-sold those scripts.
Gerhard concluded with: “The result of this case against the Snellmans should serve as a serious deterrent for anyone who continues to be involved in developing botting software or scripts or even maintaining or supporting those involved.”
Jagex was represented by Tim Meece, Ross Dannenberg, Chris Roth, V. Bryan Medlock, and Erin Bryan of the intellectual property law firm Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.
About Jagex Games Studio
Jagex Games Studio is a multi-award winning games developer based in Cambridge, England. Jagex specialises in the development of high quality browser-based games and is the largest independent games developer and publisher in the UK.
Jagex has a long-standing reputation for creating the world’s best online games and for developing hugely popular, high quality, accessible, free-to-play games and for providing an unbeatable community experience for millions of players around the world. Jagex has developed and self-published over 40 online titles, including the world’s most popular free multiplayer online game, RuneScape.com
In addition to RuneScape, Jagex self-publishes games on its games portal Jagex.com, and has released a series of successful iPhone games including BounceDown, StarCannon, and Miner Disturbance. Jagex also acts as a third-party publisher for likeminded developers, publishing titles such as the Herotopia, the online virtual world for children, the real-time strategy game War of Legends, and the iPhone title Undercroft.