Friday the 13th: The Game developer IllFonic previously took steps to deal with people who improperly play the game, including a patch to curb team killing. But the latest update on the horror game has fans saying that IllFonic is actually aiding Friday the 13th players who cheat.

On the game’s Steam forums, one Friday the 13th player argued that permanently banning players who had used exploits that have since been patched out is unfair and doesn’t work for multiplayer games like this. These types of permabans only work with more popular titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

A member of the game’s dev team, Ben Strauss, responded to the thread by saying, “We are actually going to unban those caught using exploits for this upcoming patch. Hilariously enough.” The response garnered backlash from other players who feared that IllFonic was opening the floodgates and would be letting all cheaters back in the game. Some even warned the developer that this could result in a mass exodus as the people still playing Friday the 13th ditch the game for fear of losing to cheaters.

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It wasn’t long until this backlash got back to IllFonic and publisher Gun Media, with Strauss further explaining that the unbanning of exploiters isn’t so clear cut. Strauss used the example of players who accidentally stumbled into an exploit or just used an exploit once, for fun, just to see what it was like. The community manager compared permanent bans for one-time cheaters to giving the “death penalty for speeding”. Instead, just as the player on the Steam forums asked for, IllFonic plans to remove “permanent bans from people that simply utilized known exploits that have since been fixed”.

While most players seem to agree with Strauss’ point of view, others still argue that this isn’t fair. “Repeat offenders will be permabanned,” he says, but the argument is that Friday the 13th players who used these exploits shouldn’t be given a second chance to do it again. Moreover, these may encourage some players to use exploits as the removal of some permabans now could suggest that any future permabans won’t really be permanent either. It may no longer work as a deterrent.

The physical release of Friday the 13th arrives later this week, which is adding to fans’ concerns. New players are unlikely to stick around for long if returning exploiters and cheaters are running rampant. It’s too soon to say whether permabanned players have taken the time to reform and become better players and whether the threat of an actual permaban still holds up. But it seems as though IllFonic and Gun Media are keeping an eye on things, at least.

Friday the 13th: The Game is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Source: Steam, F13 Forums (1), (2)

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