A recent wave of bans of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone accounts swept up a number of players who said they were perfectly innocent. Now, Activision seems to be quietly cleaning up the mess.
Cheating has been rampant in Modern Warfare since the launch of the free-to-play Warzone battle royale, and its developer has struggled to truly crack down on hackers. Back in April, a tweet from Infinity Ward detailed new measures to curb the cheating, with additional security updates and increased resources dedicated to weeding out all those undesirable players. In May, Activision further clamped down by adding a two-factor authentication requirement for all new Warzone accounts on PC.
Despite all that effort, hackers remain prevalent in Warzone, continuing to steal wins from Call of Duty’s player base. It seems that Activision has taken harsh action against many accounts suspected of cheating, but the bans have also impacted those who say they were just trying to play a fair game in a cheater’s world.
Many players have reported that they were shocked to find their Call of Duty accounts permanently banned when they logged on to play earlier this week. Many who claim to be innocent players point out that their stats are average at best and do not reflect any hacking or toxic behavior.
Players quickly called on Activision to investigate this latest wave of bans, and for revisions to the ban policy. At this time, Activision’s policy on bans states that permanently banned accounts are not eligible for disputes, reversal, or refunds. This is upsetting for any innocent players who spent hundreds of dollars of COD points on battle passes and cosmetic bundles, or who dedicated countless hours to grinding for in-game challenges and camos.
There’s a possibility that the bans were unrelated to the purge of hackers, instead focusing on Infinity Ward’s recent promise to clean up racist gamertags and behavior. Some players speculate there could be false bans as a result of the game’s anti-cheat system detecting background programs on PC, including even harmless programs not meant for cheating in Call of Duty. However, I’ve seen console players also disputing their bans as well.
If you’re one of the many players affected and believe your ban was in error, there’s still hope for your account and Call of Duty future: Some players are now reporting that their accounts are being quietly reinstated. Perhaps Activision and Infinity Ward are stealthily trying to undo any accidental false bans. (Activision did not respond to Kotaku’s request for comment on this issue.)
YouTuber “RDTechy,” one of the players whose accounts was banned, has now posted a follow-up video showing that the ban has been lifted from his account.
While players will be happy to have their accounts back, this incident shows why Activision should at least revise its ban procedure to include a message that describes why a player’s account was banned. Hopefully, all of the innocent players caught up in this dragnet will see their accounts reinstated.