One of PlayStation Studios’ newest acquisition, Bungie, has been pretty litigious lately. The studio has been taking harassers and Destiny 2 cheaters to court frequently since summer 2021 – all spearheaded by Don McGowan, a top industry lawyer who previously worked at Pokémon Company International. McGowan has told Axios that not only is this “the right thing to do,” it’s also “good business.”
Why Bungie is suing abusers and Destiny 2 cheaters
“We have seen historically that bad actors will often be tolerated because the people with the skills and power to remove them do not focus their efforts there,” McGowan told Axios. “To put it simply, we disagree. In our view, removing harassment and abuse from our community is not only the right thing to do, it is also good business.”
McGowan says Bungie suing cheaters is part of a “strategic push” because the issue of cheating plagues multiplayer games and soils the experience for genuine players. The industry as a whole has started taking cheaters seriously in recent years. Bungie’s former parent company Activision Blizzard has set up an entire anti-cheat team that has developed the Ricochet software to deal with cheaters in Call of Duty games.
Bungie’s attempting to put a stop to harassment and abuse for the same reason. Earlier this year, the company sued an impersonator who filed nearly hundred bogus copyright claims against Destiny 2 YouTubers, infuriating the community and giving Bungie a headache because people initially thought the company was behind the copyright strikes. Then, it sued a player who repeatedly threatened employees and openly talked about burning the company’s office building down. Recently, Bungie announced that it was reducing direct communication with players online due to the amount of threats and abuse directed towards its employees.
McGowan says that not only do genuine players avoid communities plagued by harassment and cheating, it’s difficult for employees to do their jobs if they are constantly threatened and have abuses hurled at them.