Genshin Impact lawyers are going after the game's biggest leaker

Genshin Impact
(Image credit: Hoyoverse)

Genshin Impact publisher Cognosphere has subpoenaed Discord seeking the personal information of a user named Ubatcha, who happens to be the most prolific leaker in the game's Western community.

As TorrentFreak (opens in new tab) reports, a recently filed subpoena (opens in new tab) and DMCA takedown notice (opens in new tab) specifically target Ubatcha and the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor Discord server they operate in. Lawyers representing Cognosphere allege that content posted in WFP by Ubatcha "infringes Cognosphere's exclusive rights under copyright law" regarding Genshin Impact. 

The accompanying DMCA specifies "images, artwork, screen captures and other content from [Genshin Impact]", and includes screenshots of Discord posts from Ubatcha dating back to July 2022. 

Suffice it to say, Cognosphere probably isn't seeking Ubatcha's personal information just to say hello. The subpoena states that "such information will only be used for the purpose of protecting Cognosphere's rights," and you don't have to read between the lines very hard to see the legal action that could follow. Ubatcha may not be served a lawsuit tomorrow, but it's clear that Cognosphere is on his trail. 

This isn't the first time Genshin Impact's creators have gone after leakers. The so-called 'Leaker Hunt Decree,' a community term riffing on the Vision Hunt Decree of Genshin Impact's Inazuma story arc, really hasn't stopped since the big update 1.5 blowout

Last month, moderators on the Genshin Impact Leaks subreddit confirmed that the channel received DMCA notices (opens in new tab) on the heels of a far-reaching, near-unprecedented leak allegedly plucked straight from Hoyoverse servers. At the time, even Ubatcha avoided this exceedingly dodgy info. "I do not condone whatever methods in which the data was obtained and I was not involved in obtaining nor distributing the original data," he said in a tweet (opens in new tab).

While it's not unheard of, this subpoena is a pretty big deal because Ubatcha is essentially The Leaker for the game's Western community, and WFP is the go-to aggregate for pre-release details. Both are central to the game's main leak subreddit, which has over 330,000 members. 

Ubatcha has over 465,000 followers on Twitter alone, and the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor server has over 270,000 members. Countless data miners and beta testers also contribute to Genshin Impact leaks, which in turn fuel sites like Genshin Honey and Project Ambr, but Ubatcha is often the first to share, collate, and/or corroborate major leaks. It's hard to overstate how trusted and well-known he is among players looking to learn about future Genshin Impact updates before they're officially revealed. 

Ubatcha has never tried to hide his part as a leaker, apart from deleting a few posts here and there and occasionally going dark on some social media. He doesn't limit himself to Genshin Impact, either, and has also shared leaks for Hoyoverse's Honkai Star Rail, a game that isn't even out yet. Hell, WFP has several channels and admin roles straight-up labeled "leaks". 

Just yesterday, Ubatcha shared guides for two unreleased Genshin characters, Scaramouche and Faruzan, which were initially posted to WFP. How this subpoena and DMCA affect Ubatcha and WFP's leaks going forward remains to be seen. 

An entire freaking trading card game is coming to Genshin Impact next week.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.