Jagex has decided drastic action is needed to stop players cheating in their flagship browser based MMORPG Runescape.
An email went out today to all users suspected of ‘botting’, warning them to immediately stop using automated software in game – or face a fine of up to $2,500.
The class action lawsuit that Jagex’s threat relies on is currently pending in the Californian courts, but if it is upheld, Jagex would be legally entitled to claim damages from anyone continuing to run Runescape bots.
It’s an unusual approach to solving the problem of botting, and even Runescape botters who received it personally don’t believe that Jagex have the resources to link their game name to their real identity, or to follow through with the threat of a fine.
On one botting forum, user SuperDan commented “How can the sue you its you ‘ Dear player’ they dont even know you name and if you read the disclaimer runescape/jagex is not aloud to use your ip address to gain infomation about you.” , while other members joked that they’d happily pay a $200 fine to Jagex in court if their flight to California was paid for.
Whatever the court decides, there will be more to come on this story. A favorable verdict for Jagex may prompt other companies to take the same action, while a verdict supporting the botters could be interpreted as legalizing cheating in multiplayer games.
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