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Bungie is relentless in its legal battles against Destiny 2 cheat makers

‘The days of Destiny 2 cheaters being free to engage in a wholesale assault on the Destiny 2 game and its community without fear of consequences are over’

two Vex robots in Destiny 2
Destiny 2
Image: Bungie
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Destiny 2 developer Bungie has a pretty good record in taking down cheat makers, and it’s looking to add another notch to its belt. On Tuesday, Bungie filed a lawsuit in a Seattle court targeting dozens of people allegedly involved in cheat-selling company Ring-1.

It’s not the first time Bungie has targeted this specific company; in 2021, Bungie teamed up with Ubisoft to sue several individuals behind Ring-1 for copyright infringement. The companies settled with a few of the alleged cheat makers, but the court rejected the $2.2 million judgement Bungie and Ubisoft asked for from Andrew Thorpe, a U.K. resident, and an alleged “prominent” member of the Ring-1 group. Despite that court battle, Ring-1 continues to operate, selling cheats for Destiny 2 — ranging from $59 a month to $119 a month — and other games like Apex Legends, Overwatch 2, PUBG, and various Call of Duty games.

Bungie’s lawyers, in court documents first uncovered by Torrent Freak, are looking to pin several more alleged cheat makers, sellers, and others with copyright infringement, DMCA violations, breach of contract, and civil conspiracy, among other claims. Bungie called on its successful lawsuits to prove its case against these Ring-1 members: “The judgements Bungie obtained in those lawsuits have repeatedly confirmed the sale and use of cheat software violates a raft of federal and state laws, breaches users’ contracts with Bungie, and is a basis for significant tort liability,” it said.

Ring-1, Bungie’s lawyers say, is “particularly dangerous,” as its cheats put users’ computers at risk. The cheat software uses an exploit in “Windows and Intel processor framework,” called Hypervisor, according to the lawsuit. It does this to “falsify data” to get past Destiny 2’s cheat detection. For this, Bungie is looking for $150,000 for each copyrighted work that’s been infringed, among other damages. Bungie has not yet responded to Polygon’s request for comment.

This lawsuit is coming right off the heels of Bungie’s $4.3 million win against cheat seller AimJunkies. The case was resolved in arbitration after lots of back-and-forth between the two parties, including a counterclaim that said Bungie hacked an AimJunkies developer. The company also won $2 million in a settled lawsuit against GatorCheats from 2021. Beyond Bungie, the battle to crack down on cheaters and cheat sellers has continued over the past few years: Activision, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Pokémon Go creator Niantic, and Nintendo have all taken hack sellers to court.

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