There's no denying that the online scene in Modern Warfare 2 is pretty much where it's at: everyone loves it, everyone plays it, and everyone is addicted to it. On the PC, Call of Duty is distributed by Steam and many hosted servers are guarded by the VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat System). On VAC-guarded servers players are protected from people who are using hacks and exploits, as they will be detected and automatically handed a ban. Therefore, virtually nobody on a VAC server tries cheating, and the whole system works well.
That is, until a massive wave of gamers received bans and all claim they're completely innocent.
Now, I know what you're thinking, everybody claims to be innocent, especially if they're guilty. However, after July 19 improbably massive groups of gamers went and displayed their outrage over seemingly random bans they were given after playing Modern Warfare 2 and receiving a ban. The only way to play online again after receiving such a ban would be to buy the game again, something these gamers were not even considering as they were adamant of their innocence.
Valve hadn't made a comment about the situation for the first week and a half of complaints, but 3 days ago they displayed a heartfelt apology to the gamers. Valve acknowledged that it was an error on their part. Over the two weeks that VAC was mistakenly handing out bans, it seems some odd twelve thousand innocent gamers were kicked out. Gabe Newell himself gave a heartfelt apology to gamers who were affected by the VAC system error.
Something like this.
To make up for the mistaken bans Valve went out of their way to make amendments and gave every innocent gamer a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2, as well as a gift copy to give to a friend. I don't know about you, but I would certainly be super happy with Valve's customer service - this is something other game companies should take note of. Valve responded to the gamers, acknowledged the mistake on their end, fixed the problem, then gave the gamers something back to thank them for their patience. That, folks, is how you do it.
For those interested, Valve explained how the accident happened, too:
"The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game. This wasn't a game-specific mistake. Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks)."
What do you think, Ranters? Are you impressed with Valve's commitment to the gamers? Were you one of the innocent gamers that was banned? Tell us your thoughts!