Racist Destiny 2 Fan Fined $500K For Harassing Bungie Employee

A Destiny 2 player who doxxed and harassed a Bungie community manager has been found liable for nearly $500,o00 in damages and fees, in a lovely example of fucking around and finding out.

According to the official Washington State court order, shared on Twitter by paralegal Kathryn Tewson, Jesse James Comer (who Tewson calls a “racist shitstain of a human being,” and girl, preach) went on a doxxing and harassment campaign of a Bungie community manager not long after that CM (who we will not name here) highlighted the work of a Black Destiny 2 creator.

The court documents state that Comer, who lives in West Virginia, added a new number to an anonymous texting and calling service before leaving a “hideous, bigoted voicemail” on what appears to be the Bungie employee’s personal phone. Comer “repeatedly asked that the [employee] convince Bungie to create options in its game in which only persons of color would be killed.” Comer then started leaving similarly aggressive and racist voicemails for the Bungie employee’s wife.

But since men with fragile egos and too much time to spend on the internet know no bounds, Comer didn’t stop there. He escalated his harassment campaign by showing the Bungie employee that he knew where they lived. He ordered a “virtually inedible, odiferous pizza” from Domino’s, set it to cash on delivery, and put in the notes that the delivery driver “knock at least five times” because the person receiving the delivery would be wearing headphones.

Comer then bragged about his behavior in a Steam group called “terr0rgang,” which “maintains a set of sound files and noises labeled as ‘ear rape’ and permits its users to utilize these files as a part of their terror campaigns.” Comer used those audio files in voicemails just two hours after sending the Bungie employee and their wife the pizza.

According to the court order, “Bungie was forced to take expensive measures to protect the Does from the threat posed by Comer (who, at that point, remained unknown and anonymous).” The company sent out “executive protection” within an hour of the “pizza attack,” and hired investigators and outside counsel to try and identify Comer.

Everything Bungie did to protect its employee was expensive, and now Comer has to pay the price according to this court order. This isn’t just an important case for Bungie and its employee but also for victims of online harassment at large. As Tewson wrote on Twitter: “The law moves slowly, frankly; much more slowly than either technology or culture. With this win, we helped to close that gap in some significant ways.”

May this be a warning to all the racist fuckboys in video games: Be prepared to pay up.


Destiny 2 ‘Assault’ By Cheaters Is Ending, Bungie Lawsuit Says

Guardians parade in the streets of the Last City.

Image: Bungie

A new Destiny 2 cheat maker is ruining its competitive multiplayer, and Bungie is banking on its string of recent legal victories to crush it. The Sony-owned studio filed a lawsuit against the group behind the Ring-1 software as it claims the days of players “feeling free to engage in a wholesale assault” on the sci-fi shooter MMO are over.

Bungie has targeted up to 50 defendants in Washington District Court who it alleges are involved in copyright infringement, DMCA violations, and civil conspiracy, according to the lawsuit first reported on by TorrenFreak. The studio claims that Ring-1 uses an exploit in the Windows and Intel processor framework to turn off hardware protections and remain undetected as it feeds false data back to Destiny 2‘s servers.

As a result, players who pay $59 to $119 a month for the services get access to a bunch of different tools that given them unfair advantages like an “Aimbot” that boosts targetting and “Character ESP” which reveals every hidden part of a map. There’s also the dreaded “Misc” cheat which, as Bungie describes it, “includes a ‘ONE POSITION KILL’ hack that allows a player to kill everyone, player and NPC, from a single position.”

It’s the latest in a string of cases Bungie has brought against cheat sellers as it tries to crackdown on a growing industry-wide scourge. While many game companies from Activision to Riot Games have pursued technical solutions to detect, block, and ban cheaters, the Destiny 2 maker has added aggressive court battles to its arsenal. And so far the results speak for themselves. Bungie won $4 million against AimJunkies in February, and $12 million against a seller at VeteranCheats in April.

“The days of Destiny 2 cheaters being free to engage in a wholesale assault on the Destiny 2 game and its community without fear of consequences are over,” Bungie wrote in its latest lawsuit, which it hopes will benefit from those previous victories. In the meantime, however, Destiny 2‘s PVP content still face an uphill battle. In addition to not infrequent cheating on PC, modes like Crucible and Gambit have been short on new content and major overhauls. The legal precedents Bungie establishes could still help it in its broader fight, especially with new online multiplayers coming like the exraction shooter Marathon.


Bungie Completely Debunks Destiny 2 Conspiracy Theory

An image shows futuristic warriors in Destiny 2 using green space magic.

Image: Bungie

If you’ve read enough Reddit and Twitter posts over the last few months, you might have heard about an interesting Destiny 2 conspiracy involving Strand—an in-game power added in the online shooter’s latest expansion—and The Witch Queen expansion from 2022. The theory suggests Strand was a leftover idea shoved into Destiny 2’s most recently released expansion. But Bungie has responded to the theory and debunked it completely.

Released in March, Destiny 2’s Lightfall expansion wasn’t as well received or popular as the game’s fantastic 2022 expansion, The Witch Queen. Among the many complaints, one was the inclusion of a new power, Strand. It wasn’t that Strand felt weak or boring, but instead, the green-tinted power which focused on threads of energy seemed out of place in Lightfall’s neon city of futuristic buildings. I’ll admit that when playing through Lightfall, Strand felt almost shoehorned into the online shooter. You just kind of find it on the new planet and there you go. But some fans have taken this feeling that Strand is out of place further and suggested that’s because the ability was not intended to be a part of Lightfall at all, but was planned for The Witch Queen DLC. They point to its green color—Witch Queen’s DLC was covered in shades of green from the trailers to the Queen’s world—and also suggest the power’s focus on threads and connections fits better with 2022’s expansion.

In an August 29 interview with PC Gamer, Destiny 2’s director Joe Blackburn was asked about the veracity of this particular fan theory.

“Strand was never designed for Witch Queen,” explained Blackburn definitively. “For one thing, it just takes us longer than a year cycle to make a whole new damage type.”

Blackburn also found it funny that people assumed the green color of Strand was a sign it was connected to Witch Queen, as he said the color naturally came about in the development of Lightfall’s neon-colored world of Neomuna, as it was intended to thematically connect to the planet’s synthwave vibes.

“Strand was all Lightfall, all the time,” said Blackburn, “and I’m sure that some people will never believe me unless they can go and see the flag fluttering on the moon.”

Meanwhile, back in reality, Destiny 2’s next expansion—The Final Shape--seems to be building toward a massive conclusion to the story that’s been going on for a decade. The final DLC is bringing back beloved exo Cayde-6 and is ditching seasons for episodes. It’s slated to release next February.


Destiny 2 Maker Bungie Latest PlayStation Studio To Cut Staff

Destiny's main characters stand above The Traveller.

Image: Bungie

Bungie is the latest PlayStation studio to face layoffs. While the scale of the cuts wasn’t immediately apparent, multiple, now-former staff members began posting on social media on October 30 that they’d been let go by the beloved Destiny 2 maker.

“My heart is breaking for all affected…I am now looking for opportunities,” tweeted Destiny 2 community manager Liana Ruppert. “It’s a strange feeling to wake up in the morning excited for the week ahead, only for your day to begin learning that you’ve been hit with a Reduction in Force and are now on the job hunt,” wrote recruiting lead Amanda R. on LinkedIn.

The scale of the cuts and which teams or departments are most impacted isn’t yet clear. They come the same month that fellow PlayStation studio, Naughty Dog, cut dozens of contractors across art, production, quality assurance, and other disciplines. The downsizing comes in a year that’s seen publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Embracer all lay off hundreds, consolidated teams, or closed entire studios. PlayStation rival Microsoft has imposed severe cuts at current first-party Halo studio 343 Industries near the beginning of 2023.

Sony acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion just last year amid an acquisition frenzy across the video game industry. In addition to the popular sci-fi MMO shooter Destiny 2, Bungie is also working on the extraction shooter Marathon as well as another original IP. Bloomberg also previously reported that the studio was involved in an internal evaluation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 multiplayer spin-off that stopped the project in its tracks. Kotaku reported earlier this month that the game, while not fully cancelled, had effectively been put on ice.

Sony and Bungie did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Update 10/30/2023: Bungie CEO Pete Parsons called today a “sad day” on Twitter. “What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future,” he wrote.


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