The developer behind the popular sci-fi FPS Destiny 2 has won a harassment lawsuit against an online racist that abused numerous employees via TextNow and Twitter. The $500,000 harassment lawsuit fought back against a racist fan that threatened violence against developers.
Bungie’s lawsuit stems from a 2022 promotional campaign praising African-American Destiny 2 player Uhmaayyze. The advertisement called the gamer a “hero”, angering white supremacists that play the game.
In response to the advert, Bungie received anonymous messages on Twitter threatening to kill employees working in the game. Using a service known as TextNow, the harasser sent devs personal messages and voicemails asking for “N-word killing” DLC be added to the FPS. They also sent a pizza to the home of a Bungie developer with a phone call saying: “Enjoy your pizza.”
In a detailed Twitter thread, Kathryn Tewson revealed that Bungie has won its $500,000 court case against the individual, who still isn’t named. The perpetrator has been ordered to pay $405,189 as punishment, alongside $83,806 of attorney fees and $400 for miscellaneous costs.
Bungie’s court case will have massive repercussions on how online hate towards developers will be combatted via legal means. The judge concluded that online hate that targets employees also affects the employer, the latter of which can sue for damages in court.
This means that anyone who partakes in vile hate campaigns against developers for their work will be liable in court. Furthermore, doxxing people for reason of employment will also be punishable in court.
Alongside being ordered to pay almost $500,000, the perpetrator is now forbidden from contacting Bungie or having others reach out on his behalf, although they can reach out via legal counsel. Furthermore, they are barred from directly or indirectly harassing any Destiny 2 community member including players, content creators and more.
The Destiny 2 devs’ lawsuit does have clear implications for the future of online harrasment in the video game industry. With such a spiteful and hate-filled environment, game developers need every protection they can get.
Destiny 2 is currently free-to-play on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series and PS5. The game has recently released its Lightfall expansion, which is set to be followed up with The Final Shape. This upcoming DLC will bring back Nathan Fillion’s Cayde-6, an important return following the passing of Lance Reddick.