When it comes to players cheating in online games, a permanent ban is usually the worst punishment a publisher will dish out (either for that specific game or the company’s whole catalog). Now, though, Bungie is going to court to stop one serial destiny 2 cheater who the company says has repeatedly and publicly evaded the developer’s bans and escalated to threats and harassment against Bungie and its employees.
The full lawsuit (first reported by TorrentFreak) says that describing defendant Luca Leone as “a serial ban evader and cheater… would be a vast understatement.” Leone, who streams on Twitch under the handle miffysworld, has seen 13 separate accounts banned for cheating since late May, Bungie said. That includes many accounts for which Leone directly streamed evidence of cheating. leone even tweeted about “a clip of me flying with infinite ammo walls and aimbot” on a now-protected Twitter account.
About a year after destiny 2 went free-to-play in late 2019, Bungie implemented a new verification system intended to deter cheaters. That system requires new accounts to confirm a fresh phone number via SMS to access certain high-level content like raids. But Leone noted in a tweet that “you can just pay $1 instead,” a likely reference to services that provide cheap, fake temporary phone numbers to get around these kinds of verification systems.
Bungie alleges that in addition to using cheat software, Leone takes part in forums that sell access to presumably hacked destiny 2 accounts and emblems, which are tied to in-game achievements and are supposed to be non-transferable.
All those misdeeds aside, it seems that it was Leone’s pattern of harassment and threats toward Bungie employees that escalated his case from a moderation issue to a legal matter. That includes tweets in which Leone warned that Bungie Community Manager Dylan Gaffner “is not safe” (including a picture of Gaffner’s Bungie employee badge); where he offered to commit arson at a discount rate “if it’s [at] bungie hq”; and where I have said that Bungie should “keep your doors locked.”
Bungie is seeking a protective order preventing Leone from “harassing, stalking, or otherwise engaging in unwanted or unsolicited contact with Bungie, its employees, or destiny 2 players,” as well as monetary damages.
Bungie is one of many game makers that has previously brought lawsuits against the creators of cheat software affecting their games. But the Destiny-maker recently hit a roadblock in one of those lawsuits when a judge said that the company had “not pleaded sufficient facts to plausibly allege that [the cheat maker] copied constituent elements of Bungie’s work.”