Another day, another big lawsuit win for Bungie: This time around, the Destiny 2 studio has won a $6.7 million default judgment against Kunal Bansal, the operator of the cheating website lavicheats.com.
Bungie's case against Lavicheats actually began in 2021, alongside similar complaints brought against Elite Tech Boss and VeteranCheats. The Elite Tech Boss case was settled in June 2022 for $13.5 million, but neither LaviCheats nor VeteranCheats responded to Bungie's lawsuits. Because of that, Bungie filed for default judgments against both cheat makers; a $12 million judgment against VeteranCheats was awarded to the studio last week, and today it scored a $6.7 million win against LaviCheats.
That might seem like an odd, even arbitrary, number, but it's not—here's how it breaks down in the ruling, available in full via The Game Post:
- Statutory DMCA damages: $5,580,000
- Copyright Act damages: $300,000
- Lanham Act damages: $579,270
- Attorney's fees: $183,850.71
- Costs, including expert fees: $57,852.63
That's a pretty hefty sum of cash, far more than Bungie alleges Bansal made by selling Destiny 2 cheats. The studio calculated his earnings on the "Delta cheat" (downloaded 962 times) at between $9,610.38 and $124,098, while his profit on the "Ring-1 cheat" (downloaded 1,828 times) at between $36,377.20 and $455,172. Bungie said it has spent a "minimum of $2 million on game security staffing and software" in order to "combat the Bansal cheats and other cheating devices of Destiny 2."
The default judgment was awarded because Bansal simply refused to participate in the case, but the ruling makes clear that he was probably screwed even if he'd mounted a vigorous defense. The judge found in Bungie's favor on every point, from DMCA violations through copyright and trademark infringements, a Consumer Protection Act claim, and "tortious interference with contractual relationship"; further, he noted "little possibility that the core, material facts are in dispute," and said that Bansal's failure to appear wasn't due to "excusable neglect," but a conscious decision to ignore the whole thing.
The bottom line is an across-the-board win for Bungie, totalling seven figures and a permanent injunction barring Bansal from making, advertising, or selling Destiny 2 cheats. He was also ordered to shut down any websites and social media accounts he may have dedicated to that purpose.
How Bungie will enforce the ruling remains to be seen: I'm not a lawyer, but Bansal lives in India and that might make collecting on the ruling a challenge. More importantly, though, LaviCheats is no longer selling Destiny 2 cheats: It dropped them not long after the lawsuit was filed. The store page is still up, however, and LaviCheats made a point of blaming Bungie for Destiny 2's cheating problem and recommending other cheat sellers in its place—not exactly the sincerest sign of contrition I've ever run across.