‘Warzone’ Bans 100,000 Cheaters in Largest Ban Wave Yet

This massive ban wave brings the total banned accounts since the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone to 700,000.
August 25, 2021, 5:49pm
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Image: Activision

The makers of the popular first-person shooter Call of Duty just banned more than 100,000 accounts for cheating in what is the largest ban wave in the game's history.

On Wednesday, Raven Software, the developer of the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone, announced the bans in a tweet.

This latest ban wave puts the total number of banned accounts to over 700,000, according to the company's tally. In May of this year, Raven Software tweeted that it had banned "over half a million accounts" in Warzone. Since then, there have been two ban waves of 50,000 accounts each, and this latest one of over 100,000. 

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“We are continuing to target repeat offenders, as we’ve previously stated,” an Activision spokesperson told Motherboard in an email. “We’re evolving our programs to ensure repeat offenders do not re-enter Warzone.”

While cheaters get banned regularly outside of these massive waves, the company's strategy is to hit customers of large cheat makers all at the same time to hurt the cheat makers' reputations, according to an employee of a game company who asked to remain anonymous as they were not allowed to speak to the press. 

That way, "pretending that the cheat is undetected is a lot harder" for the cheat makers, the employee previously told Motherboard.

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 lorenzofb@jabber.ccc.de, or email lorenzofb@vice.com

While Activision, Raven Software's parent company, has always been clear that it would not tolerate cheaters and hackers, it seems like it has been ramping up its efforts lately. As a result of new security measures, several sellers who market hacked Warzone accounts said they are running out of stock, as Motherboard reported last week. These kinds of accounts can cost hundreds of dollars as they have rare weapons or skins, and they can also be used for cheating. 

Also, in a series of tweets last week, Activision announced a new Call of Duty game, a new map for Warzone, and a new anti-cheat system for PC

Today's ban wave comes only two weeks after the last one, and just a few weeks after several well-known Warzone streamers said they would quit playing the game as there were too many cheaters. At the time, Nickmercs, one of the streamers who complained in a video after being killed by apparent cheaters, said he would switch to Electronic Arts's battle royale Apex Legends. And since then, he has mostly been playing that game instead of Warzone, according to his Twitch's archive.

This story was updated to include Activision’s statement.

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