Bungie wins landmark legal battle against Destiny 2 cheat maker

Bungie wins landmark legal battle against Destiny 2 cheat maker
Images via Bungie

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes


27th May 2024 08:49

Bungie is gearing up for Destiny 2's big Final Shape expansion, but there's another reason for the developer to be cheerful.

As reported by Game File's Stephen Totilo, the developer has won its lawsuit against Phoenix Digital (also known as Aimjunkies) after a jury sided with Bungie against the cheat manufacturer. What's most impressive is that this is the first time a US jury (and potentially anywhere else) has ruled on a video game cheating case.

Bungie wins damages from Destiny 2 cheat maker

Bungie has been coming after Destiny 2 cheat makers for a while now, with its argument grounded in the idea that reverse engineering the game to allow for cheats to be sold is an infringement on the company's IP.

While we all have our thoughts on cheating in games, it's not technically illegal. Therefore, Bungie argued that the development of Destiny cheats is a violation of the company's copyright.

Most cheat makers tend to cease operations after a legal threat, but not this one. The case took a turn when Phoenix Digital/AimJunkies accused Bungie of accessing its employee's computers. Bungie responded by saying this is part of the cheat detection process and is covered by the EULA (End-User License Agreement). 

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Totilo reports that Phoenix Digital's founder David Schaefer intends to appeal if the verdict isn't dismissed, focusing on whether Bungie can prove a copyright violation has occurred. As it stands, Bungie is due $63,210 - not a huge amount for a company of its size, but the precedent the lawsuit sets seems more than worth the effort.

Given the well-publicised struggles of games like Warzone enduring an ongoing battle against cheaters, or Apex Legends pro players being hacked at ALGS, Bungie may have just opened the door to a world of hurt for cheat makers from developers.

Lloyd Coombes
About the author
Lloyd Coombes
Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.
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