In a blog post published last week, innocuously titled Ricochet Anti-Cheat Progress Report, the Call of Duty team slipped in some drastic news about how their anti-cheat system is going to work.
As spotted by RPS, the update had two key points of information. The first was that a new kernel-level version of Ricochet is coming to Call of Duty: Warzone when its Pacific update launches in December, and is then coming to Vanguard later on:
#TeamRICOCHET is preparing for the arrival of the next phase in the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat system, the new PC kernel-level driver. Warzone will be the first title to receive the driver, launching alongside the Pacific update in December. The kernel-level driver, which is one element of the multi-faceted RICOCHET Anti-Cheat system, will be added to Call of Duty: Vanguard at a later date.
Kernel-level drivers are contentious because although they’re highly effective at catching cheaters, they’re also given very high-level access to your PC, creating a trust-based security issue all of its own.
The second key point was that Call of Duty is changing its “security enforcement policy” (emphasis mine):
We have made changes to our security enforcement policy for Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Extreme or repeated violations of the security policy – such as in-game cheating – may result in a permanent suspension of all accounts. Additionally, any attempt to hide, disguise, or obfuscate your identity or the identity of your hardware devices may also result in a permanent suspension.
Permanent suspensions for security infractions may now apply franchise wide, including Call of Duty: Vanguard as well as any past, present, and future titles in the Call of Duty franchise.
So get caught cheating in Vanguard and you might get banned from Modern Warfare and Infinite Warfare and Warzone and 2005's Call of Duty 2 (which still has active servers!) as well. Oh, and any Call of Duty game coming out in the future. I know cheating sucks and cheaters suck and we’re living in a digital hellscape where we’re only ever renting these games never truly owning them but...even with those allowances, banning a player from over 20 games just because they cheated in one seems particularly dystopian.