In a rather dramatic conclusion to a lawsuit filed by Bungie in August last year, the owners of the Destiny 2 cheat domains, Veterancheats, LaviCheats and Elite Boss Tech, will have to pay a settlement totaling approximately $13.5 million in damages. The calculation for this settlement comes from a fine of $2,000 per violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – 17 US Code Section 1201 a and b – multiplied by the approximately 6,765 unique downloads of the program in question.
According to a report by Andy Maxwell on TorrentFreakBungie accused the defendants of violating copyright law in addition to racketeering, fraud, money laundering, and violations of computer fraud and abuse law.
Cheating in games like Destiny 2 has caused developers to employ increasingly stringent methods to combat the prevalence of these programs. These countermeasures can be very difficult and expensive to use, especially in the case of live service games like Destiny 2 that have a regularly changing ecosystem.
Bungie has said in previous court documents that, in addition to compromising the gameplay experience of Destiny 2the availability of these cheats means its “anti-cheat watch can never cease”, while putting countermeasures in place is “exorbitantly expensive”.
The case initially appeared to be headed for trial, but now a consensus has been reached with the defendants, Robert James Duthie Nelson, Elite Boss Tech and 11020781 Canada. This agreement ensures that the defendants accept responsibility for the creation and distribution of these cheats, that the infringement was deliberate and that their software was designed to circumvent the technological measures employed by Bungie to control access to its software.
This settlement aligns with other similar lawsuits filed by Bungie over the past year in cooperation with Ubisoft and another with Riot Games which both targeted cheat makers producing illicit programs for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant, in addition to Destiny 2. The mooted case with Riot Games netted the developers $2 million in damages, while the joint case with Ubisoft is still in litigation.
Cases like these have become increasingly frequent and are not without precedent. In January, Activision sued Call of Duty the EngineOwning cheater citing similar charges and is currently seeking damages in the hundreds of millions.