How Bungie Crushed AimJunkies in a $4.3 Million Lawsuit Over ‘Destiny 2’ Cheats
Bungie, the game developer behind popular titles such as Halo and Destiny, has won a legal battle against cheat provider AimJunkies, resulting in damages and fees worth $4.3 million. The victory comes after a prolonged legal dispute that began in 2021, with both parties filing lawsuits against each other.
According to a report by TorrentFreak, Bungie had accused AimJunkies of copyright and trademark infringement for hosting “Destiny 2 Hacks” on its website. Although US District Court Judge Thomas Zilly ruled in favor of AimJunkies last year, stating that Bungie had failed to provide sufficient evidence to support its claim, he allowed the developer to present additional evidence.
While the copyright infringement lawsuit is still pending, the non-copyright-related aspects of the case were referred to arbitration. In the recent arbitration proceedings, Judge Ronald Cox found AimJunkies and “Destiny 2 Hacks” developer James May guilty of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This was based on May’s testimony that he had connected reverse engineering tools to the game to create cheats and had circumvented bans imposed by Bungie.
Since AimJunkies sold and profited from May’s creation, the judge held the company liable. Cox also found AimJunkies and its parent company Phoenix Digital Group liable for selling not just game cheats, but also the loader used to inject cheats into games. The evidence presented showed that AimJunkies had sold over 1,000 copies of the cheats and over 1,000 copies of the cheat loader.
One of the reasons why Cox sided with Bungie was because AimJunkies owner David Shaefer had underreported the website’s cheat sales. “Given respondents’ egregious and willful conduct, including their ongoing concealment of sales, Bungie is entitled to the full statutory damages available,” he wrote in his decision.
As a result, Bungie was awarded $3.65 million for all DMCA-related violations and an additional $700,000 for fees and other costs. Bungie plans to use this victory as part of its argument in AimJunkies’ countersuit, which accuses the developer of violating its ToS for reverse-engineering its cheat software. The court had dismissed AimJunkies’ claim that Bungie had illegally hacked May’s computer in a previous ruling last year.