A jury hands Bungie a victory in a landmark anti-cheating decision

Yesterday’s jury decision awarded Bungie (PDF) a whopping $63,210. Bungie’s attorney, James Barker, said in an emailed statement to The edge that the company is “committed to our players and will continue to protect them from cheaters, including taking this and future cases to trial.”

In 2021, Bungie sued AimJunkies and four defendants (here’s a PDF of the complaint), alleging, among other things, that they hacked Destiny 2 to copy the code used to create cheats. Some of Bungie’s claims – such as that AimJunkies violated a provision of the DMCA prohibiting circumvention of copyright protection technology – were referred to arbitration and resulted in Bungie winning $4 million . AimJunkies appealed after the judge upheld this sentence. This appeal is still ongoing, as Polygon wrote this week.

Phoenix Digital founder David Schaefer will decide whether to reject the jury’s verdict and appeal if necessary, according to Totilo. Regardless, the verdict is important, given that cheating lawsuits tend to conclude through other means, such as settlements. (For example, a judge closed a Grand Theft Auto cheat distributor in 2018 following a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive, or when Bungie settled another cheating lawsuit in 2022 for $13.5 million.)

The victory may only mean pocket money for Bungie, and it probably won’t end online cheating, but it will allow a jury to decide on the legality of creating such cheats. That makes this more important than the $63,000 pocket reward for Bungie would suggest.

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