Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail publisher HoYoverse is suing a group of Genshin Impact hackers in Canadian court. Filing Nov. 28 in Canada’s Federal Court, HoYoverse (and its parent company Cognosphere) sued Joaquin Soriano and several other people, identified only by their online handles, for copyright infringement tied to hacking tools.
The group created, sold, and distributed Genshin Impact cheat tools called Akebi GC, Acrepi, and Genshin XYZ, which give players in-game advantages like attack modification, no attack cooldowns, unlimited stamina, teleportation, and invincibility, according to HoYoverse. The Akebi GC tool is sold through a subscription: seven days for $7.99 and 30 days for $19.99, according to the lawsuit first reported by Torrent Freak and obtained by Polygon. (Acrepi is a free version of the same tool.) HoYoverse said it sent a cease-and-desist letter to Soriano, to which he responded and said he’d take down the copyrighted material. HoYoverse claims the group didn’t actually do that — and told their community they’re developing a new tool for Honkai: Star Rail.
HoYoverse said the cheating tools are not only damaging the company’s reputation, but also hurting it financially:
The cheat features of Akebi GC give its users the ability to engage in numerous illicit activities and provides them with unfair advantages over other players. Akebi GC allows players to progress rapidly through the game. Some of the cheat features provide benefits that reduce the likelihood a player will make in-game purchases. As the Genshin Impact game is offered for free and only monetized through in-game purchases by users, these cheat features cause significant harm to HoYoverse.
Genshin Impact is free-to-play, meaning you can play it without spending any money. But the game incentivizes players to participate in its microtransactions, and that’s how HoYoverse makes money. In the lawsuit, HoYoverse said it spent $100 million on Genshin Impact’s initial development, plus $200 million more on updates. “This makes Genshin Impact one of the most expensive games ever developed,” HoYoverse said.
The key points HoYoverse is suing over are the circumvention of its anti-cheating tools and copyright infringement related to its logo, characters, and other art. HoYoverse claims it’s lost revenue and spent lots of money on monitoring, catching, and banning cheating players using the Akebi GC, Acrepi, and Genshin XYZ tools, as well as on the development of security patches and updates designed to mitigate the impact of cheating tools.
HoYoverse is looking to the court to force the group to stop selling its cheating tools, and is asking for damages “in excess of $50,000,” according to the lawsuit.
Genshin Impact leakers have largely been the target of HoYoverse over the past few years; the company has been fighting in United States courts to expose the identity of several well-known people who publish Genshin Impact information early.