When I wrote this article for Technology Review, I sent a request for comment to Blizzard Entertainment, but the company was unable to get me the answers until earlier today. Since the game maker’s responses are interesting, I have included them here.
Will Blizzard comment on their policy about in-game helpers/bots?
Any “bot” or in-game helper designed to play World of Warcraft automatically with little or no player input is strictly forbidden. We take violations of this policy very seriously and have consistently worked to identify the use of bots in game and suspend or close the associated accounts.
Does Blizzard consider this sort of research/activity to be against the EULA? If so, what parts?
The programmers have called for Blizzard to offer third-party developers a separate set of servers to allow them to program their bots. From a technology perspective, WoW could give such researchers a good environment in which to advance AI programming. Is Blizzard considering such a move?