Bungie says removing harassment and abuse is “the right thing to do”

Described by the studio as “removing harassment and abuse,” Bungie has been actively working towards thinning down troublemakers in the Destiny 2 community.

Among them is a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by the Bellevue based creators against Luca Leone, a player alleged to have a long history of cheating, creating alternate accounts to evade bans and threatening studio employees. Leone streamed himself using cheating tools, goading the studio with multiple accounts, making threats to the community manager and threatening arson on Bungie HQ.

Other problem elements haunting the developer are a cheat software maker named Elite Boss Tech and one Nicholas ‘Lord Nazo’ Minor for filing fraudulent copyright strikes against Bungie’s own YouTube channel by posing as the copyright holder of the studio’s own video content.

Bungie’s General Counsel Don McGowan spoke with Axios recently as to why Bungie has taken “an increasingly aggressive approach” towards troublemakers. McGowan states that it’s good for players and it’s a good business decision too. 

Bungie harassment
Touch grass in the Tower

“We have seen historically that bad actors will often be tolerated because the people with the skills and power to remove them do not focus their efforts there,” McGowan states. “To put it simply, we disagree. In our view, removing harassment and abuse from our community is not only the right thing to do, it is also good business.”

“We believe very strongly that most people do not want to be in communities where cheating or harassment is allowed to thrive. Tolerating bad actors chases away a lot of people who would like to enjoy our products.”

Bungie developers are usually very open to feedback on social media when it comes to engaging with their players, but some outliers have recently taken to crossing a line and have been actively throwing out death threats over changes in the game. This in turn made staff members more hesitant to engage with the community as a response to the hostile and violent abuse. 

That being said, harassment and abuse is bad both for Bungie and players alike, but most importantly, it’s bad for business. McGowan and his team know this and aim to stop it. Bungie workers “do not deserve any of the mistreatment that is sometimes directed their way,” McGowan says. “They are doing a job and as their lawyer, my team and I have a set of skills that make it possible for us to defend them as well as the integrity of our players’ experience.”