Ubisoft, Inc., one of the largest video game publishers in the world, has gone to extreme measures to ensure that its games are played fairly by everyone by filing a lawsuit against makers of the cheats. But can you personally be sued for cheating?

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (“Siege”) is arguably Ubisoft’s most popular game in recent years, with the game reaching 50 million players in September. Recently, however, the Siege player base has been under assault by a wave of cheaters and hackers, those who use software to exploit and manipulate the game code in order to have an unfair advantage over other players. In a game as competitive as Siege, this software can have jarring consequences, even going so far as to force some players from ever enjoying the game again . But now Ubisoft is striking back, filing a lawsuit in the Central District of California against the founders of “MizuSoft,” a cheat provider that sells licenses to a software tool used to manipulate the code of Siege.

Ubisoft claims that the Defendants have 1) “trafficked in circumvention devices,” 2) “intentionally interfered with contractual relations,” and 3) engaged in unfair competition.  The claim of “trafficking in circumvention devices” stems from the fact that MizuSoft’s software tool was primarily designed to circumvent the exclusive technological access Ubisoft held over Siege.  It appears that the software holds no other purpose than this.  As for the second claim, Ubisoft refers to its Terms of Use (“TOU”) that every new player must agree to in order to download and play Siege.  Terms of Use are a legal agreement between a service provider and someone who wants to use that service.  The Terms often refer to what is and is not acceptable behavior when using the service provider’s product.  The TOU Ubisoft has specifically prohibits the use of game altering software, including the cheating software in question.  Ubisoft claims that Defendants were aware of the TOU, and intentionally encouraged and induced Siege players into using MizuSoft’s software, effectively breaching their contract with Ubisoft.

Such an intense method to prevent the use of cheating software took many by surprise, though the Siege community as a whole has responded with positivity. But the question remains, who will Ubisoft go after next?

The answer is relatively simple. If you are not using any software to manipulate or change the game code, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You’re good people in the eyes of Ubisoft and the rest of the Siege community. But for those of you who do use this software, I would urge you to remove it from your computer and cancel whatever license subscription you paid for in order to obtain this software. As mentioned before, Ubisoft requires everyone to agree to their TOU before downloading and playing Siege.  If you find yourself using any game altering software, then it’s likely you are breaching your contract with a multi-million-dollar company, something that can open you up to litigation.  Not exactly the best place to be.

For now, Ubisoft is only going after the distributors of the cheats, though this may be because suing MizuSoft is simply the most effective way to curb the number of players using their software. The publisher has made it clear that it will protect its player base from these unscrupulous players, so we may see more lawsuits in the future. If you want to be 100% certain that you don’t have a bullseye on your back, keep your digital nose clean.

Thanks to intern, Dan Percy, for drafting this article.