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Valve Bans Modern Warfare Players By Mistake, Apologizes With Free Left 4 Dead 2

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Were you wrongfully accused of cheating and summarily banned from the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 recently? You weren't the only one. Valve's anti-cheat software goofed and they're offering free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 as an apology.

Many players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were surprised to find their Steam accounts banned this past weekend by Valve's anti-cheat software, more succinctly known as VAC. Valve president Gabe Newell says that was mass banning a mistake and offered an apology to those affected.


In addition to restoring players' access to the game, Valve is giving players a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 and one to gift to a friend, along with an explanation of how even players exhibiting good behavior were hit with the banhammer.

Read Newell's message to Modern Warfare 2 players below and take comfort in the fact that you totally did nothing wrong and you're not crazy.


Recently, your Steam account was erroneously banned from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you.

The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game. This wasn't a game-specific mistake. Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks).

We have reversed the ban, restoring your access to the game. In addition, we have given you a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to give as a gift on Steam, plus a free copy for yourself if you didn't already own the game.

To share your extra copy of Left 4 Dead 2 with a friend, you can 'Manage Gifts and Guest Passes' from the 'Games' Menu in Steam, or visit this article on the Steam Support site for detailed instructions:

To access your own copy of Left 4 Dead 2, visit your library of games in Steam. If you didn't already own the game, it will now be listed among your others there, and is available for download immediately.

Gabe Newell
President, Valve

Thanks to everyone who flooded the tips@ inbox this weekend with their banning story.