Bungie is taking legal aim at several of the companies responsible for the creation or distribution of Destiny 2 cheats.
As with many games with a competitive multiplayer element, Destiny 2 has a fair amount of trouble with cheats and players stepping outside of the rules of the game to get a competitive edge. While fighting against those measures in-game is a never ending battle, Bungie has long been keen to take those fights to the courtroom as well.
As spotted by TorrentFreak, Bungie has now filed lawsuits against the owners of three companies--Elite Boss Tech, Lavicheats.com, and VeteranCheats.com--that accuse each of copyright infringement (among other things), largely over their development, sale, and distribution of Destiny 2 cheats.
Each of the three lawsuits names several John Does among their defendants with the goal of uncovering the individuals behind their online usernames through the course of the lawsuit.
Bungie argues (in the Elite Boss Tech case) that it spends upwards of $1.25 million per year on anti-cheat measures, but that the anti-cheat process is largely reactionary and not a true solution to preventing cheats from taking hold in Destiny 2. As cheating players purchase and use hacks or cheats in-game, Bungie argues that this unfair advantage further harms both it and Destiny 2 by souring its rule-abiding playerbase on the heavily-online game.
"Honest players express frustration and anger at playing against cheaters and the perception that cheating is rampant – or, worse, ignored– can cause users to abandon a game for other options not perceived as overrun by cheaters. As such, Bungie has been forced to expend tremendous time and significant resources attempting to counteract cheat software such as that developed and sold by Defendants," explains the Elite Boss Tech complaint.
"Bungie builds and licenses cheat detection tools (known as anti-cheat software) at significant cost, and Defendants attempt to develop software to avoid those anti-cheat measures. Honest players leave the game as their enjoyment of the experience diminishes – users do not want to play a rigged game they can’t win without cheating or see their PvE accomplishments trivialized – and that costs Bungie additional revenue."
The lawsuits allege copyright infringement for several reasons, including multiple defendants' use of Destiny 2 images to advertise their cheats and the fact that the creation of a cheat requires unsanctioned use and modification of Destiny 2's copyrighted code. Links to each individual case can be found on TorrentFreak.
While cheats are a longstanding and persistent problem for games like Destiny 2, Bungie is pushing back with renewed focus. In addition to the new lawsuits filed this week, the company also announced that it will soon use BattlEye anti-cheat to protect against nefarious behavior. That additional tech is expected to "soft launch" in the game's next seasonal update next week.