More than 20,000 Overwatch players have been banned in South Korea, 22,865 to be exact, But Will That Even Make A Dent?
A representative from Blizzard Entertainment announced the banning of 22,865 Korean Overwatch players due to hacking, via the game’s forum.
According to Google translate, the post outlines the numerous sanctions laid out against the offenders, mostly the main reason for the bans is due to the “unauthorized use of third-party programs,” otherwise known as illegal hacks. Normally, a banwave is cause for celebration in the wider community that prefers to play clean games, the massive swing of the ban is a nice step in the right direction but unfortunately may do little to combat the hacking issues facing Overwatch’s Korean servers, so it may still be to early to celebrate
“Creating and delivering a pleasant game environment for the majority of good players is of paramount importance to us and we are committed to taking all the steps we can take to create, distribute and use our programs. We are also aware of the fact that our programs are circulated through various communities, and we will prepare countermeasures,” Blizzard said.
This has been an ongoing issue for Korean players, who have repeatedly reported cheaters in the past to no avail. In Korea, players largely play Overwatch at PC bangs, or net cafes. The PC bang buys a special license from Blizzard allowing everyone who logs into Battlenet via a PC bang computer access to Blizzard’s games for free, LAN gaming centers that let patrons play games on high-end hardware for an hourly fee. This alone wouldn’t cause a problem, but most PC bangs have deals with game publishers (such as Blizzard) to pay a flat rate for all users, allowing their patrons to play games without having to purchase an account or pay subscription fees. This means there’s little at risk to deter cheaters from hacking their way to victory,
Compare to the the US, you’re out $40 for your personal copy, if your account is banned its banned for good, but PC bang players don’t have to buy a copy of Overwatch to play it, so they can get away with their actions more easily, couple it with Overwatch doesn’t really have a sense of level progression either, aside from skins, so starting fresh on a new account isn’t a deterrent.
That’s why Blizzard’s banwave might sound impressive, but may not really amount to much as it doesn’t consider the reality of the hacking scene in Korea, 22,865 is a daunting number, but will it even make a dent?
How the company plans to do this remains unclear, considering the nature of playing Overwatch in PC bangs. Banning players by the thousands is a big start, however.