Skillz Sues AviaGames Over Alleged Bot-Rigged Gaming Apps


The legal battle between mobile app developers Skillz and AviaGames took center stage as the federal lawsuit kicked off today in a Northern California courtroom. The contention? Skillz accuses AviaGames of copyright infringement, alleging the rival stole its technology and replicated its popular gaming apps.

At the heart of the dispute are Skillz’s claims that AviaGames not only copied its games, such as Solitaire Cube, Blackout Bingo, and 21 Blitz, but also that it incorporated bots into its gaming experience. These computerized players, Skillz asserts, are deployed by AviaGames in their apps like Solitaire Clash, Bingo Clash, and 21 Gold to expedite pairing times and compete more effectively than average human players, thus violating the company’s service terms.

Allegations have surfaced that AviaGames rigs its offerings with these sophisticated bots to mislead and financially exploit gamers, with the damages alleged to exceed the billion-dollar mark. The accuser suggests that this artificial intelligence-driven deception provides Avia with an unfair advantage, drawing customers with the promise of swift matchup times against real opponents and compromising the integrity of what are marketed as skill-based contests.

Players from Skillz have expressed their frustration about the difficulty in finding a real human opponent, an issue that seems less problematic for AviaGames app users. Suspicions arose that Avia’s prompt pairing times might not be due to sheer popularity, but rather to the undisclosed presence of bots skillfully masquerading as human opponents.

AviaGames staunchly refutes these claims, painting the lawsuit as nothing more than a smear campaign by a competitive rival witnessing its own market share erosion. The company iterates its commitment to its diverse and thriving community of gamers, challenging the allegations as wholly unfounded.

The presiding U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman has already made significant rulings leading up to the trial. After AviaGames got a nod for postponement to bolster its defense, Judge Freeman determined that ample evidence hinted at the use of bots, leading her to mandate the handover of AviaGames’ confidential internal communications to Skillz. With Skillz founder and CEO Andrew Paradise ready to testify and AviaGames CEO Vickie Chen schedule for cross-examination shortly, the legal drama is expected to expose more about the gaming companies’ internal workings.

Amidst this court battle, a separate class-action lawsuit looms over AviaGames. Plaintiffs in that case accuse the company of orchestrating games of chance, masqueraded as games of skill, likening the operation to an unlawful gambling venture. They assert that recent findings reveal AviaGames has deceived its users, turning a supposedly fair competition into a mismatched gamble against the house—personified by bots. This legal action is poised to commence in the following month.

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