Call of Duty cheat maker ordered to pay Activision over $14 million in damages and hand over domain name

A high-profile video game fraud creator has been ordered to pay more than $14 million in damages to Activision and hand over his domain name.

The United States District Court for the Central District of California has granted Activision's motion for a default judgment in a civil case against EngineOwning, a company that sells cheats for several Call of Duty games, as well as Counter-Strike, Battlefield, and Titanfall. Activision has been awarded $14,465,600 in statutory damages and $292,912 in attorneys' fees, and the court has issued a permanent injunction to stop EngineOwning's “illegal conduct” and to transfer its domain name,, to Activision.

Activision successfully argued that EngineOwning continued to circumvent its security systems and sell circumventing software in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It sought the minimum statutory damages under the DMCA of $200, multiplied by a general estimate of the number of downloads of circumventing software in the United States (72,328), totaling $14,465,600. The court found the request “reasonable” under the circumstances.

In February 2023, a judge ruled that EngineOwning must pay Activision $3 million in damages, following a lawsuit in which Activision claimed high-profile streamers had used Warzone cheats. But EngineOwning continued its operation, selling cheats for the 2023 Call of Duty game Modern Warfare 3, as well as Warzone. Activision then continued its long battle with the cheat maker, resulting in this ruling.

Questions are now being raised over whether Activision will get the money it receives from EngineOwning or its ability to claim ownership of the website. At the time of publication of this article, cheats and HWID spoofers are available for purchase from EngineOwning, which apparently operates outside the US.

Of course, competitive multiplayer video games have struggled with cheating for decades, and Call of Duty in particular has been seen as a problem with cheating and hacking, most prominently in the free-to-download battle royale Warzone on PC. Activision and other video game publishers face an uphill battle in the war against cheaters, but the Call of Duty company hopes rulings like this will serve as a meaningful deterrent as it prepares to release Black Ops 6 later this year.

Overnight, Activision tweeted that all accounts participating in any kind of boosting behaviour in Multiplayer or Warzone Ranked Play will have their SR reset and will be removed from leaderboards ahead of the Season 4 launch. Activision added: “In addition, as previously announced, accounts found boosting their progress in Ranked Play will be permanently banned from accessing Ranked Play modes in Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone.”

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter @wyp100. You can contact Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].

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