A lot of online games announce ban numbers from time to time. It’s a nice little piece of PR to let players know that they’re at least trying to keep the playing field level. Yet PUBG Mobile’s latest ban tally made me do an old-timey cartoon double-take, giant bulging eyes and all.
Just look at this. The game says it banned 3,884,690 accounts in just one week.
As the Tweet says, the main reasons for bans revolved around cheating, and included players’ modifying their character models, speed hacks, x-ray vision and “other hacks”. More specifically, as you can see below, loads of players were also banned for offences like auto-aim hacks and “modification of area damage.”
The fact a game can ban almost four million players in a single week is just staggering to me. But not in the ways I think PUBG Corp and Tencent were probably hoping for.
Releases like this, like I said above, are so companies can point to them and tell frustrated player-bases and prospective/lapsed players, “Look at this, we’re actively policing this game, so come and play and have fun and don’t worry about cheats.”
But this is having the opposite effect. The barriers to entry on mobile games for cheaters are low enough already. For a game to say, “Hey we banned 3.8 million cheating players in a week, and those are just the ones we caught!” sure does suggest that this game has a lot of cheating going on.
For a game to even have 3.8 million players at all in a single week is usually a herculean achievement. For a game to have that many cheaters in it at once is just mind-boggling. Especially when you look at the broader numbers and see that PUBG Mobile has 20-30 million active users, meaning your chances of playing with someone who is cheating at any given moment will be pretty damn high!