Following a lawsuit brought by Destiny 2 developer Bungie against AimJunkies, the cheat manufacturer is now countersuing. James May of AimJunkies is alleging that Bungie violated Destiny 2's own terms of service, hacking into his computer to gain evidence used in the lawsuit against him. While the game's current terms of service include a clause that allows Bungie to search personal files for evidence of cheating, the 2019 version (which May would have agreed to) did not. The countersuit alleges that Bungie could not have otherwise obtained the evidence it used in its lawsuit filing without accessing the personal files of the defendant.
Ironically, the countersuit also claims that Bungie violated the terms of service for the products of AimJunkies. Those terms of service state that users are not allowed to "modify, hack, decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer, derive source code, or create derivative works of our software."
The countersuit's affirmative defenses also reference Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America. AimJunkies points to that case as establishing precedent that "as a matter of law, the use of software resident on the computer of a game player to enhance the player's performance of the game does not unlawfully create a 'derivative work' or otherwise infringe a copyright." It remains to be seen whether AimJunkies can make that connection in court, but it's worth noting that Galoob's line of Game Genie devices was quite a bit different from the cheat software that AimJunkies sells. Galoob's products had no impact on anyone else's experience besides the user, while cheats in games like Destiny 2 have an impact on many, many others.
It will be interesting to see how this case plays out! Cheat software has been a major source of frustration for developers as well as players over the last few years. Companies like Bungie have found a lot of success in these types of lawsuits, but it's unclear how this one might play out, given the allegations outlined in the countersuit. AimJunkies is seeking a trial by jury in regards to its allegations against the Destiny 2 developer.
Are you frustrated by the presence of cheaters in online games like Destiny 2? What do you think of this countersuit? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!