Cheating is a way for mediocre gamers to fool themselves into feeling superior.
Unfortunately, the cheaters’ urge to artificially boost their scores and their egos ruins the fun for legitimate gamers. This is a major concern for game developers who are doing their best to prevent this activity.
Bungie Sues Aimjunkies and Phoenix Digital
Banning cheaters helps but in some cases it’s simply not enough. This is something the American video game developer Bungie realizes all too well. This week, the company filed a lawsuit targeting cheat seller AimJunkies.com and the alleged creators of the software, Phoenix Digital Group.
“Defendants develop, advertise, use, and distribute a software cheat that purports to give players an unfair advantage in Destiny 2,” Bungie writes in a complaint filed at a Seattle federal court.
“Defendants are infringing Bungie’s copyrights and trademarks, circumventing technological measures protecting access to Destiny 2, and breaching and inducing other players to breach Bungie’s Limited Software License Agreement.”
According to Bungie, it is vital to Destiny 2’s success that cheaters are kept out of the game.
Cheaters Harm Players and Revenue
The cheats directly harm other players, who may quit playing because of them. This hurts the image of the game directly and could lead to a decrease in sales. At the same time, the cheaters get in-game rewards, without really earning them.
“Cheaters ruin the experience of playing Destiny 2. Not only do cheaters impair the enjoyment of gameplay by non-cheaters with whom they interact in-game; cheaters illegitimately obtain and thereby devalue the in-game rewards that non-cheaters obtain legitimately,” Bungie writes.
The developer says it already invests significant resources in anti-cheat solutions, but the defendants appear to have found a way around them.
“Destiny 2 Hacks” is Offline
The accusations revolve around the “Destiny 2 Hacks” cheat that was sold for $34.95/month on AimJunkies.com. According to the complaint, Phoenix Digital was listed as the seller of this cheat.
At the time of writing “Destiny 2 Hacks” is no longer available on the AimJunkies site but an archived copy of the page remains available.
The lawsuit lists AimJunkies as a defendant but also targets the Arizona company Phoenix Digital Group and several of its members, who allegedly created the software.
Interestingly, the “Destiny 2 Hacks” may have hurt the cheaters as well. Bungie believes that the software was also used to install malware and other harmful software on the computers of its users.
Copyright Claims and Damages
The allegations against the defendants include various copyright claims. These include copying and distributing Destiny 2 code and circumventing technological protection measures, which violates the DMCA.
Through the lawsuit, Bungie hopes to stop the sale of the cheat which has already been achieved, it seems. In addition, the game developer requests an injunction prohibiting the defendant from engaging in or enabling future copyright and trademark infringements.
To compensate for the damages that were suffered Bungie also requests damages for trademark and copyright infringement, which can potentially run in the millions.
This isn’t the first time that Bungie has taken action against cheaters in court. Earlier this year it teamed up with Riot Games and sued cheat maker GatorCheats. This case was eventually settled for $2 million.
A copy of the complaint Bungie filed against AimJunkies and Phoenix Digital Group at the Seattle federal court is available here (pdf)