Blizzard plans to crack down hard on cheating in their new first-person shooter, Overwatch.
In a forum post on Friday from Community Manager Stephanie “Lylirra” Johnson, “if a player is found to be cheating—or using hacks, bots, or third-party software that provides any sort of unfair advantage—that player will be permanently banned from the game.”
Cheating in online games is not a new thing, especially during eSports competitions involving money. Such problems have been seen in the communities revolving around Rainbow Six: Siege and Team Fortress 2 in the form of auto-aim bots and the ability to see other players through walls.
With the promise of dropping the banhammer, permanently, this raises the question if Blizzard will be able to put an end for cheating once-and-for-all, at least for Overwatch. This, at least, would be in character for Blizzard, as last year they banned over one hundred thousand accounts found to be using third-party programs that automate gameplay.
Putting the fear in players that they might lose the ability to enjoy the game that performed so well in its open beta weekend certainly is a way to dissuade cheating. In a record breaking weekend, Blizzard saw “more than 9.7 million players” beating out Destiny and Tom Clancy’s The Division which had 4.6 million and 6.4 million players respectively.
Blizzard is even going to such lengths as having the community report instances of cheating. “If you believe another player is cheating or you have information pertaining to the use of hacks, bots, or unauthorized third-party software in Overwatch, please contact us at email@example.com,” Lylirra wrote. “Thanks to reports submitted during the beta, we’ve already made improvements to the game as well as removed players who were found to be cheating.”
For the most part, though, Blizzard advises players to use caution when others for cheating. Some instances may just be things like bugs that haven’t been found yet, camera issues, or, the more unpopular reason, because some players may just be that good.
“Lastly, some players are just really good at first-person shooters,” Lylirra wrote. “Through practice and years of experience, these players’ movements and reaction times can occasionally appear unnatural (if not physically impossible) to those who may not have been exposed to that particular level of play before.”
Overwatch will be hitting stores for Windows, Playstation 4, and Xbox One on May 24 and, for many, this can’t get here soon enough.