Genshin Impact goes to war against leakers, sues Discord to find leaker's real identity

Genshin Impact 2.8 promo with Kazuha, Fischl, Mona, and Xinyan
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It looks like Genshin Impact publisher Cognosphere is going after one of the game's biggest leakers: As reported by TorrentFreak (opens in new tab), lawyers representing the company have filed a DMCA subpoena demanding that Discord provide it with the real identity of the person known online as Ubatcha.

Ubatcha is one of Genshin Impact's best-known leakers, with more than 465,000 followers on Twitter (opens in new tab). They're also a reliable presence on the Genshin Impact Leaks subreddit (opens in new tab), and administer the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor (opens in new tab) Discord server, which has more than 272,000 members. 

That's where the infringing content was posted, according to the first filing (opens in new tab), and as a result Cognosphere lawyers are asking that Discord be ordered "to disclose the identity, including the name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), and email address(es) of the user Ubatcha#2719, who is responsible for posting infringing content."

The second filing (opens in new tab) also notes that "the information obtained will be used only for the purposes of protecting the rights granted to Cognosphere under the Copyright Act." That covers a lot of ground, including legal action, which is something Cognosphere, as MiHoYo, hasn't been shy about doing in the past. 

In September 2021, for instance, MiHoYo filed suit (opens in new tab) against Chinese video sharing platform (and Twitch equivalent) Bilibili in order to discover the identities of 11 different leakers; two months later, it sued seven of them for ¥500,000 ($71,000) each. MiHoYo also filed legal action in September 2021 that forced the takedown of popular Genshin Impact wiki Honey Hunter (opens in new tab).

This latest legal action comes less than two months after a massive Genshin Impact leak revealed up to nine months of updates planned for the game. As GamesRadar (opens in new tab) noted, the leak was so big and wide-ranging that many prominent leakers, including Ubatcha, disavowed it. That doesn't appear to have done him much good, though: Given the timing, and its past history with leakers, it seems very unlikely that Cognosphere is pursuing Ubatcha's real identity so it can send him a Christmas card.

Discord will almost certainly comply with the request when it's received—lawsuits like this are typically a formality to ensure that everyone involved is meeting their legal and contractual obligations—after which Ubatcha will be revealed and Cognosphere can go after them as it sees fit. At a bare minimum, it seems likely that Ubatcha's leaks will come to a halt; but a broader chilling effect on Genshin Impact leaks is another potential outcome. I've reached out to Cognosphere for comment on the matter, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.