As more and more competitive Call of Duty: Warzone players continue to leave the game due to hackers, Activision has announced an update to their anti-cheat programs. But for the majority of the community, it's not enough and it's a little too late.
Call of Duty announced that 60,000 accounts were banned a few days ago, including cheaters from free-to-play battle royale Warzone. The Twitter announcement included an update about Activision's continued efforts to thwart hackers. The efforts included "enhancements to our internal anti-cheat software."
But for most Warzone players, this just created more questions than answers — the biggest question being, "There was anti-cheat software?"
Call of Duty: Warzone community reacts negatively to Activision's anti-cheat update
In the update earlier this week, Call of Duty developers stated: "We know cheaters are constantly looking for vulnerabilities, and we continue to dedicate resources 24/7 to identify and combat cheats, including aimbots, wallhacks, trainers, stat hacks, texture hacks, leaderboard hacks, injectors, hex editors and any third party software that is used to manipulate game data or memory."
This sounds good, but the community is nowhere near convinced. Popular streamer Jason "Loochy" immediately called out Activision for not having an anti-cheat software. He tweeted back that the game is free-to-play, meaning the 60,000 accounts will just be replaced by 60,000 more cheaters until they add an actual anti-cheat to the game.
Warzone players continue to call out Activision because it doesn't ever seem like any of their efforts amount to impactful change. Streamer Tyler "TeeP" Polchow recently tweeted that he's lost almost 1,200 Warzone matches due to aimbots, wallhacks, and other blatant cheating.
Vikram "Vikkstar" Singh Barn recently told his 7 million YouTube followers that he was quitting Warzone not only because of the amount of cheaters in the game, but how blatantly they can get away with it due to inaction from Activision.
Despite the public outcry from popular names in the Warzone community, many players have been forced to take the ongoing hacking issue into their own hands. Console players have settled with simply turning off cross-play functions because of their inability to report PC hackers. And PC players have started to report anyone they find suspicious.
Of course, relying on players to do the bulk of the anti-cheat work has led to even more issues. Many players have publicly stated that their accounts have been unfairly banned — sometimes permanently — due to a false report. They have called on Activision to implement an actual anti-cheat system to avoid this from happening so easily.
Even pro players have been affected by false hacking claims.
COD: Warzone esports scene struggles due to ongoing issues with hacking, cheating
Canadian Warzone pro Metzy was recently accused of hacking in a Twitch tournament with $250,000 on the line. The accuser was a fellow competitor, Thomas "Tommey" Trewren, a 100 Thieves player.
Metzy's entire team ended up being banned from the tournament. But an investigation of his PC ended up proving that Metzy was most likely innocent. Tommey ended up apologizing profusely, even offering Metzy his prize money.
"I’ll hold my hands up and admit we were wrong. I’m sorry for letting a lot of you down. I don’t know what more to say, but I accept and deserve anything that comes from this," Tommey tweeted.
Even though Tommey was in the wrong, he didn't receive an immense backlash from falsely accusing Metzy. That's most likely because Warzone is so full of cheaters that it was an honest mistake. Twitch Rivals competitor Brad "Drift0r" Overbey admitted that two of the five games he played one day had cheaters. He said it's hard to compete fairly or create content for a game that's so overrun with hackers.
Many in the esports scene even wondered if Warzone could have a viable competitive scene with the amount of cheating that goes unpunished. It's hard to have fair tournaments without a functioning anti-cheat.
"There’s no place for cheating. We’re committed to this cause. We are listening and will not stop in our efforts," Raven Software concluded in their recent CoD anti-cheat update.
While it's clear Warzone is attempting to address the ongoing hacking issue in the popular battle royale, it doesn't seem like their efforts have warranted a lot of meaningful change thus far. As more innocent players continue to get permanently banned and more hackers feel free to flaunt their gameplay on Twitch, the player base is unsure what can even be done at this point without reliable anti-cheat software.
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