Bungie lawsuit ends with Destiny cheat-seller on the hook for $12M

A gavel about to bang down on a table.
(Image credit: Audtakorn Sutarmjam / EyeEm via Getty)

Bungie has won a lawsuit it brought in 2021 against the Romanian national Mihai Claudiu-Florentin, who it said was behind software called VeteranCheats that players bought in order to cheat in Destiny 2. In February this year Bungie requested around $12 million in damages in a motion for default judgement, a request that the court has now granted.

The court accepted Bungie's claim that Claudiu-Florentin both developed and sold cheat software for Destiny 2, and in doing so caused significant harm to the game by undermining the experiences of legitimate players (thanks, TheGamePost). 

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2021. According to court documents, Claudiu-Florentin “developed and sold” cheat software for Destiny 2 that enabled players to cheat in various ways, including aiming more accurately, and seeing through walls.

The overall figure Bungie requested was $12,059,912.98 in damages, $11,696,000 of which represented damages based on DMCA breaches ($2,000 for each of the 5,848 downloads of VeteranCheats Bungie identified via subpoena), plus $146,662.28 for "actual damages" for copyright infringement, and then a cool $217,250.70 for the attorney fees.

And the Court more-or-less bought it lock, stock, and two smoking Conditional Finality barrels. "The Court finds that damages shall be entered in the amount of: (1) $11,696,000 for violations of the DMCA; (2) $146,662.28 for violations of the Copyright Act; and (3) $217,250.70 in attorneys’ fees and in costs. The total award shall be entered in the amount of $12,059,912.98," reads the judgement.

The court further entered a permanent injunction against Claudiu-Florentin, which stops him engaging in any kind of conduct that would violate Bungie's copyright. Bizarrely enough the VeteranCheats website remains live, though the Destiny 2 cheats have notably been removed.

Bungie has been on a most notable tear against cheat makers and sellers for the last few years, and it's been undoubtedly amusing and gratifying to see the way that actual proper lawyers chase down these miscreants. Even before this Bungie has won several sizeable payouts from individuals who messed with Destiny 2 and violated the DMCA, and its newfound litigious nature is extending into other areas including leaks. A measure of how seriously the studio takes this stuff emerges in this court judgement with the claim it's spent "$2,000,000 on game security staffing and software" to combat it.

Well, with the studio on the warpath against the cheaters, Destiny 2 players can at least get on with what the game is meant for. Most recently, that is repeatedly killing oneself in a four year-old raid for clout.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."