Bungie sues troll over Destiny 2 developer harassment


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The Destiny 2 Guardian fights containment enemies with fire aboard the Corrupted Leviathan.

Image: Bangui

Bungie accepts Destiny 2 troll to court freshly baked Last Friday, the PlayStation studio filed a lawsuit accusing one of the players in the loot shooter of systematic fraud and harassment of developers. Complaint comes like toxic elements inside Fate the fan base has led Bungie to become more silent on decisions and plans for the future of the popular live service game.

The complaint filed in the US Western District Court in Washington was the last ever. fun recent legal action studio names Luca Leone as sole defendant and accuses him of persistently violating Destiny 2Limited Software License Agreement (LSLA). According to Bungie, Leone has been banned over a dozen times for livestreaming the game using cheating software, and allegedly involved in the sale of Destiny 2 emblems, including, possibly, from stolen accounts. Leone also threatened the Bungie community manager.

“#NewProfilePic,” the inkcel account wrote on May 18, along with an image Destiny 2 Community Manager Employee Badge dmg04 (Bungie tracked the account to Leone via the shared email address he ordered items from). “I just realized I’m moving to a location that’s 30 minutes away from dmg,” Leone wrote in a follow-up tweet. And then in the third: “He’s not safe.

Screenshot of a Destiny player tweet threatening a Bungie employee.

Screenshot: Twitter/Kotaku

Then, on July 4, a Twitter user asked if anyone in the Seattle area could commit arson within the next 72 hours. Leone responded by volunteering. “If this is Bungie headquarters, you will get a discount, by the way,” he wrote. On July 5, Leone tweeted for Bungie to “save [its] the doors are locked.”

Leone did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but began deleting past tweets.

While the studio is asking the court for $150,000 in damages, it is also asking the court to block Leone from “harassing, harassing, or otherwise engaging in unwanted or unwanted contact with Bungie, its employees, or Destiny 2 players.” It’s not yet clear how the case will develop, but it already highlights ongoing discussions about how the people who play Destiny 2 interact with the people who do it.

Destiny 2genre-defining success caused the envy of others in the gaming industry, but also created a unique relationship with the players. The seasonal model encourages fans to check back regularly for new content and updates, and Bungie publishes a blog post each week keeping the community updated on the latest changes and future plans. At times, the collaboration between players and developers is very dynamic. At other times, it can be incredibly harsh, as loud voices protest against particularly polarizing design choices.

And sometimes it can be downright toxic. That’s exactly what happened in late May, when lead sandbox designer Kevin Yanes tweeted that the fan-favorite Titan Exotic Twilight Garrison armor would never reprise its role from the first game in Destiny 2. “Titans will never bring back dodge in the air my man, it’s part of the warlock personality,” he replied to one player. “I’m sorry, but I want to rip off this bandage.”

The comment became a lightning rod for vitriol, and Yanes was forced to temporarily close his account. Those at Bungie and in the community rallied around Yanes to force the behavior. “The job of a game designer is to match the needs of the many with the desires of the few” wrote senior designer Tom Farnsworth. “Of course, constructive feedback is part of this process, but we don’t tolerate abuse.”

As ForbesPaul Tassi indicates that, Yanes was one of the “chatty” Bungie developers willing to discuss the game on social media. Now, Yanes retweets exclusively on non-gaming topics, and oddly enough, it seems like others at Bungie have backed off as well. Community manager dmg04 said this over the weekend.

One of the players tweeted that Destiny 2PVP modes, long a sore point for the game and also considered the source of some of the most toxic players, could flourish if Bungie included weekly chats on the subject in their blog posts. “I’m not saying I don’t want updates” answered Falloutplays Twitch streamer. “But we have bitten too hard and too often on the hand that feeds us.”

Community Manager Dmg04 agreed. “I dream of the day when video game developers (from any studio) can openly discuss their work without being harassed,” he wrote in response to a Falloutplay comment. “Instances of harassment against our developers actively make it difficult for us to communicate with the wider community. This has affected more studios than just ours.”

While many games deal with toxicity issues, few remain as active in their community as Bungie has historically been. That was part of what made him especially prominent in recent seasons as the studio tried to keep hints of new discoveries in witch queen and “Season of Ghosts” to a minimum before they finally appear in the game.

“Can we just demolish the idea that Bungie isn’t communicating enough from orbit?” wrote one player. “They can be like 90% of other developers and never communicate outside of patch notes.”

And as dmg04 and others have pointed out, fan-baiting isn’t unique to Bungie. Last year, the developers of Naught Dog were attacked after some players disagreed with the items The Last of Us Part 2 revealed in pre-release leaks. More recently, Sony Santa Monica developers have been threatened God of War: Ragnarok still not having official release date at the end of June (received a week later). 2022 also marks the 10th anniversary of Mass Effect 3 and swearing showered by its creators about the ending.

“Many in the comments say they don’t condone harassment,” dmg04 wrote over the weekend. “I hope they also oppose it when they find out that friends or family are involved.”

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