The makers of one of the most popular free-to-play online games are responding to a wave of cheaters with a wave of their own, banning over 50,000 accounts.
In the last couple of weeks, several well-known streamers of the online battle royale game Call of Duty: Warzone publicly denounced the game's cheating problem, and some of them said they were quitting it to play other competing games.
Just a few days later, Activision is hitting cheaters back with this new ban wave, according to a tweet from Raven Software on Wednesday, Warzone's developer. The ban wave is likely an attempt to reestablish confidence in the game's anti-cheat system, and Activision's ability to protect legitimate gamers.
With this latest ban wave of at least 50,000 accounts, since Warzone's release in March of 2020, Activision and its game studios Infinity Ward and Raven have banned at least 265,000 accounts for cheating, according to their public announcements of several ban waves of 70,000, 20,000, 60,000, 15,000, and 50,000 accounts. It's worth noting that the company does ban cheaters regularly and doesn't always disclose the number of banned accounts.
"Cheaters are banned outside ban waves, constantly. We have to use ban waves as cheat sellers pretend that their goods are undetected or even undetectable. When one of their clients gets banned and complains, they get blamed for 'playing too obvious,'" an employee of a game company, who asked to remain anonymous as they were not allowed to speak to the press, told Motherboard. "With a ban wave, all or most of their clients are banned at the same time and pretending that the cheat is undetected is a lot harder."
Do you develop cheats for games or reverse engineer anti-cheat software? Or do you work on anti-cheat software? We’d love to hear from you. You can contact Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai securely on Signal at +1 917 257 1382, OTR chat at email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe to our cybersecurity podcast, CYBER.