Police Arrest Members Of "World's Biggest" Video Game Cheat Company, Seize Luxury Cars

Illustration for article titled Police Arrest Members Of "World's Biggest" Video Game Cheat Company, Seize Luxury Cars
Photo: Weibo

Chinese police have moved against a company billed as the “world’s largest” seller of video game cheats, arresting ten of its members and confiscating over $40 million worth of assets.

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As the BBC reports, the cheat sellers were operating under the name “Chicken Drumstick”, and sold cheats for everything from Call of Duty to Overwatch, with subscription prices for their services ranging from $10 a day to $200 a month.

As part of the raid, police took possession of $46 million of “assets”, which included “several luxury cars”.

Whether it really was the “world’s largest” cheat operation is up for debate; Chinese authorities often make these performative gestures while countless other illegal operations—especially those related to counterfeit goods—are given free reign to operate throughout the country.

But it is at least a big one, and the luxury car seizures give us all an insight into just how much money cheat companies can be making out there.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

DISCUSSION

eggsactly
Gallus Advocatus, Esq.

The criminalization of violating software terms of service as if it’s real theft is something that worries me. Kinda feels like the State operating as the enforcement arm of corporations, creepy stuff. I get that the context for that is different in China than it is in the US or EU, but we’ve seen similar stuff in the States (like CheatEngine getting a bunch of legal threats a few years ago that led to them restructuring their forums, etc.). Not everyone is a fan of cheating, and especially in multiplayer games, banning cheaters is a noble pursuit... but criminalizing those cheaters is problematic.