3 August 2021CopyrightAlex Baldwin

Ubisoft, Bungie team up against videogame cheat maker

Game companies Bungie and Ubisoft have filed a joint lawsuit against five individuals behind Ring-1, a company that develops and sells cheats for popular online multiplayer games.

Bungie and Ubisoft claim that the cheat software developed and sold by Ring-1 is designed to be used with their two most popular online titles—“Destiny 2” and “Rainbow Six Siege”, respectively.

The complaint accuses the individuals behind Ring-1 of copyright and trademark infringement, as well as unfair competition, intentional interference with contractual relations, trafficking in circumvention devices and false designation of origin.

According to the complaint, the software allows players to manipulate the games to their advantage, by making in-game weapons automatically aim, revealing the location of opponents and revealing information normally hidden to players.

As well as granting an unfair advantage, cheaters can use these methods to more easily obtain in-game rewards, which the game companies claim “devalues” them for their non-cheating players.

Andrew Thorpe, Jonathan Agueda, Wesam Mohammed and Ahmad Mohammed are named as the defendants and suspected owners behind Ring-1, which predominantly operates and sells their services from the website

Bungie and Ubisoft are seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against Ring-1, has requested that the website be shut down and has asked for a total of $300,00 in damages for copyright infringement.

While total damages have not been calculated, the complaint states that the plaintiffs are entitled to profits made from distributing the cheats, which could total “millions of dollars”.

Infringement case

Bungie and Ubisoft claim that Ring-1s cheats “manipulating the games’ performance, appearance and screen display”, therefore infringing their IP.

Ring-1 has also been accused of reproducing the game’s files without a licence in order to reverse engineer their cheat products to bypass the games’ cheat detection systems.

Ryan Meyer, IP attorney at Dorsey & Whitney said: "Ring-1 will likely have a hard time arguing that it did not willfully violate the plaintiff’s IP rights since it allegedly designed it to avoid detection by the game companies and even allow banned players back into the game."

The cheat maker has also opened itself up to further copyright and trademark infringement claims by featuring “Destiny 2” and “Rainbow Six” artwork on its website.

Meyer added: "Ring-1 tempted fate and exposed itself to even more liability, by prominently depicting images and logos from ‘Destiny 2’ and other games on its website without authorisation. IP owners are more likely to notice and react to such bold conduct, and it provides a basis for copyright and trademark infringement claims, false designation of origin claims, and greater damages."

They are seeking actual or maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed copyrighted work.

Cheating crackdown

This suit the most recent example of a growing trend of games companies cracking down on cheat services.

Meyer added: "In a similar case, Nintendo of America v Gary Bowser,  Nintendo’s civil suit ran in parallel with a federal criminal suit against the defendant for 11 felony counts relating to wire fraud, trafficking in circumvention devices, money laundering, and conspiracy.

“It will be interesting to see if federal prosecutors level any similar charges against Ring-1 and its operators,” said Meyer.

This is the second joint-action Bungie has filed this year. In January, it joined with developer Riot Games to sue cheat maker GatorCheats.

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