The Division‘s development team will begin permanently banning “cheat engine” cheaters on their first offense, rather than starting with a 14-day ban.
Cheating is a reality in online multiplayer games that players are forced to come to terms with in our day and age. Cheaters are increasingly efficient at breaking down a game and finding weak points to exploit. Luckily, game developers are also growing increasingly effective at catching cheaters. The question then, is what do game developers do then? For The Division‘s development team, the answer has been an evolution in itself, and is now one that’s come to it’s blunt conclusion: no quarter.
Up until now, The Division has had a two-tier punishment policy where first offenders would see only a 14-day suspension on their accounts. A second offense would result on a permanent ban, but by then cheaters would have had two opportunities to try and dodge punishment with updated cheat software, resulting in two times the amount of gameplay exploits, which doubly ruins the experience for other players. Basically, when any time spent in-game with a cheater is ruined, a two-tier punishment system punishes non-cheating players as well.
The Division‘s policies have now been updated to better represent the needs of the game and its community. All players caught using cheat engines will receive a permanent ban on their first offense. The 14-day suspension is a thing of the past. Here’s the official statement on the matter from Ubisoft:
“Following this campaign of suspensions and bans, it also became clear that while huge progress has been made in terms of cheat detection, our 14 days suspension on first offense policy has not been dissuasive enough. Judging from your feedback, and based on what we witnessed when cheaters came back to the game, we have now decided to push our policy one step further: we will now start applying permanent bans on first offense when players are caught using cheat engines and we will communicate clearly when new ban waves are taking place.”
The “campaign of suspensions and bans” to which The Division‘s team refers is a round of over 30,000 actions against cheaters. It’s safe to say that the results of this wave of bans resulted in many of those players coming back and continuing their cheating ways.
It’s likely that this decision was especially easy. The Division‘s taken a very slow, long road coming to today’s ultimate decision to ban cheaters on first offense. They started with just a 3-day ban, moved up to a 14-day, and now are bringing about today’s changes. The team probably had all the evidence and feedback they could ever need to know this is the right choice.
Communities for games, including Overwatch, are extremely happy with the policy. The Division‘s change will absolutely be welcomed with applause from players. No one wants to play with cheaters, even other cheaters.
The Division is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.