Blizzard and Seoul Metropolitan Police have joined forces in pursuit of Overwatch hackers and the first of 13 cases have ended with defendants getting two years of probation and a $10,000 fine. Naturally, violating probation means prison.
The second defendant from the aforementioned group received a punishment of $9.3 thousand to be exact, which still sounds pretty good. Maximum penalties for making aimbots and wall hacks in Korea go up to $43 thousand and five years of prison time so you do the math.
The country has enacted pretty strict legislatives when it comes to creating hacks for cheating in online games and they have been in effect since 2016. Obviously, South Korean authorities are well aware of the growing problem, trying to nip it in the bud in a legal manner.
The arrests however are a result of joint efforts by the police and Blizzard Korea, who later said the goal was ensuring a fair gaming environment. One would think that a company the size of Blizzard would have their own prevention methods but there you have it - they might actually send the police.
This is not the first time Korean Blizzard hacker community has made the headlines either. In fact, Overwatch has had issues in South Korea with hackers switching free accounts, prompting Blizzard to crack down on the practice even harder. In hindsight, it seems it didn't work.
Blizzard insist that the arrests weren't for those who give cheats a spin for kicks or whatever. Apparently, it's solely against those who make and distribute them, reportedly earning a pretty penny while doing so.
It's pretty ironic though, seeing a company that is widely regarded to have become a bona fide breeding ground of toxicity, sicking the police against hackers of its own software. One would think that policing your own game would be enough.
That's not to say we're on the wrong side of the law for this one, because we're not. Besides, hearing about defendants' monetary gain is usually the point where anyone who plays online should lose empathy.