A creator of cheat making software for popular FPS titles Destiny 2 and Valorant along with other titles is facing a joint lawsuit from Bungie and Riot Games. According to a complaint obtained by the video game website Polygon, lawyers for the two developers filed the complaint in the Central District of California court last Friday, January 8th. They allege that Cameron Santos, apparent creator of GatorCheats has been selling cheating software for their games.
Only Santos has been named but there are three other unnamed defendants mentioned in the lawsuit. They claim that Santo along with his employees operate a number of websites that distribute his cheating software. The unnamed defendants may have also provided a sort of “customer support” by helping users install the software or avoid detection.
They sold the cheating software via the website but also made it available through platforms like email, Telegram, and Discord. According to the complaint, the software has been designed to avoid detection from Riot Games and Bungie’s own anti-cheat technologies.
The software was being sold for around $90 per month or $500 for lifetime access. Lawyers for the plaintiffs have claimed that the developers of the cheating software may have made “tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the cheats. According to the complaint, Valorant cheats are more expensive than those for Destiny 2.
Riot and Bungie believe that the defendants are in breach of their respective games’ license agreements by providing an easy method to gain an unfair advantage and also by circumventing the games’ anti-cheat programs.
Reason for the Lawsuit
They believe that this cheating software is an attack on their business model. What follows is a quote from the complaint:
“The revenue from the sale of virtual currency and digital enhancements or expansions is what enables Plaintiffs to maintain, update, service, and develop the Games and their online services. Accordingly, it is paramount to Plaintiffs’ business models that the Games retain the interest of their respective user bases for sustained periods of time, so that players will remain dedicated to the Games, recommend the Games to friends and family, and continue to purchase virtual items and expansions.
A vital part of the player experience is the fairness and integrity of the Games, and thus Plaintiffs invest an enormous amount of time and money to ensure that all players stand on equal footing and have a fair chance of progressing in the Games. If players perceive that others are cheating or have an unfair advantage, they will grow frustrated with the Games and stop playing. That, in turn, could disrupt and/or destroy the Games’ player communities and severely harm Plaintiffs’ ability to generate revenue and to maintain, improve, and expand the Games.”
Riot and Bungie are looking for the court to shut down the operation and may be seeking damages that they claim “may amount to millions of dollars” in harm for the company.
Cheating in Esports
The complaint did not mention any use of the cheating software for professional play, but we have had many scandals in the past, especially in FPS esports titles. Back in September 2020, the CS:GO professional scene took a big hit when ESIC announced that 37 coaches of a variety of professional teams had been hit with bans ranging from 3.75 months for those with the most minor misdemeanours, up to 36 months for the more serious offenders. Riot Games have also been placed on the back foot after several bugs were found and exploited in professional play.
Riot Games have been at the forefront of the anti-cheating movement. Considering that many of their games have picked up as esports titles, they have invested a lot of time and effort into stopping cheaters, both in casual and in professional play. The lawsuit is one more of several efforts of the company to provide an enjoyable and secure game for those who enjoy playing as much as those that enjoy betting in Valorant.