Earlier this week, we wrote about Destiny 2 studio Bungie’s plan to reduce comms between developers and players temporarily over some extreme harassment and threats. We didn’t even have to wander far to see the reaction from some callous players, as a few descended into our own comment section to parrot a line about this being a PR-driven move to get out of doing work and avoid managing “a few idiots on the internet.” One even mocked the gamers who support Bungies’ devs through harassment as “corporate shills” who were “just throwing buzzwords around not knowing anything about the situation.”
So let’s talk about “not knowing anything about the situation” as it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Bungie isn’t overreacting. Ontario paper The Waterloo Region Record has a piece up this week detailing the harassment campaign as chronicled in the actual court filings in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, that asked a judge to force Waterloo-based company TextNow to surface identifying information about its customers accused of this harassment.
Apparently, it all began in June after an innocent Bungie tweet promoting a Black YouTuber; there followed a gamer-led “campaign of doxxing” Bungie employees, multiple death threats against Bungie workers sent to Bungie accounts, and then voice mails and text messages to Bungie staff and family demanding that Bungie add racist DLC in which players could murder Black people (using a racist epithet).
“A few minutes later [one stalker] called back and identified himself as a member of a far-right-wing social network known to publish material that is censored from mainstream social media,” the judge’s decision notes. “He repeated the request for an ‘N-word killing’ DLC to be added to Destiny 2.” At another point, the same person sent pizza to one dev’s home address and left an “Enjoy your pizza” voice mail. Yet another stalker tweeted a Bungie staff ID card, said he’d moved near the employee, and tweeted that the worker was “not safe,” leading the workers to fear swatting attempts.
The judge granted the order, incidentally, compelling the texting network to disclose the identities of the harassers, so it’s not yet clear how the perpetrators’ threats will be followed up.
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) August 3, 2022