Riot & Bungie Join Up In Cheat Maker Lawsuit

By Ben Hamill - January 14 2021

Riot & Bungie Join Up In Cheat Maker Lawsuit

Cheat makers literally cheat games makers out of millions of dollars each year and are sooner or later made to pay for their sins by the companies whose creations they’re undermining. The latest lawsuit from several recently actioned is a joint claim filed by Riot Games and Destiny 2 creator Bungie against a hacker chop-shop called GatorCheats.

What’s unusual about the lawsuit is its joint nature, with studios having in the past only ever sued cheat makers in single-plaintiff actions. Lawyers acting on behalf of Riot and Bungie filed the motion in California’s Central District Court last week, claiming that GatorCheats and owner Cameron Santos – among others affiliated with the same company – are trading in malevolent hacks, cheats, and workarounds.

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Cheating Is A Lucrative Business

According to allegations made by the two plaintiffs in their filed complaint, Santos and other staff affiliated with GatorCheats distribute and sell software enabling players to cheat at games like Valorant, Destiny 2, and more. They are allegedly known to do this via the official GatorCheats website, as well as through email, Discord, and Telegram.

What’s more, the hacks (or cheats) are designed in such a way so as to go undetected by anti-cheat systems put into place by Bungie and Riot. Users are charged a fee for access to the software, with the cost of access ranging anywhere between $90 for a month’s worth of access, to $500 for a lifetime “membership”.

According to the plaintiffs’ legal representatives, GatorCheats and Santos have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling cheats to the respective games owned by Riot Games and Bungie.

The Effects Of Cheating

Riot and Bungie are applying for a complete shut-down of the GatorCheats operation, saying cheating nullifies a game’s competitive integrity, which ultimately leads to the partial or complete erosion of the gaming community’s trust and general interest in playing that game.

Following a “cease and desist” notice previously served on GatorCheats by Bungie, the cheat maker allegedly undertook to stop selling the hacker software to players, but at the same time notified customers that support would still be offered to those who had already purchased and paid for the products. According to allegations made by Bungie via its lawyers, GatorCheats and Santos continue to privately sell the software to interested parties.

Several similar lawsuits have been filed in recent years. Past plaintiffs have included Nintendo, Epic Games, Ubisoft, and Activision, with the most recent outcome being that of a $5 million settlement reached between Niantic (Pokémon Go) and gaming hack-shop Global++.

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