Overwatch, the new team-based first-person shooter from Blizzard, just concluded its open beta earlier this week, and the game proved to be very popular, seeing over 9.7 million players. Now that the next step is awaiting the May 24th release, Blizzard has taken a moment to explain how it will deal with players caught cheating, and it’s a simple, clear-cut policy: one strike and they’re out. Cheating just once will result in a permanent ban from Overwatch.
The developer’s strategy is a bit refreshing, as these days we see most online multiplayer games utilizing strategies like a three strikes rule, or a temporary ban of varying length. This sometimes results in cheaters returning to their ways for a period, hoping to escape another detection.
“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. Full stop,” Blizzard wrote on the Battle.net forums.
The company notes that this policy is part of its dedication to “preserve the integrity of game,” as well as ensure that all players are having fun on an equal playing field. Overwatch players who encounter cheaters are encouraged to use the in-game reporting tool, or send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interestingly, Blizzard also notes that the game’s replay features, such as killcams and Plays of the Game, are not always representative of a player’s actions from their own perspective. These clips can appear “more snappy” or “less fluid” than what actually happened, and thus the footage won’t be solely used for verifying cheating.
The developer also reminds that “some players are just really good at first-person shooters.” So someone being significantly better than you doesn’t always mean they’ve resorted to cheating.