Overwatch, Blizzard’s newly released team hero shooter, has been a huge success, charging ahead of its competition in the emerging genre with more than 7 million players after just one week. In order to secure the game’s position as an up-and-coming esport, Blizzard has already begun to aggressively ban cheaters, according to PC Gamer.
A post from the developer on the game’s official Chinese forum publicly shames 1,572 players by listing their user names. All of them have been permanently banned since May 24. PC Gamer also shared screenshots of posts from the forum of a cheat program provider where the aggrieved shared stories of how thorough Blizzard’s ban was. Even after purging everything related to the game from their computer and purchasing it again to play without cheating, apparently Blizzard quickly caught on and banned them again. Blizzard is not kidding around.
One banned user shared an e-mail they received from Blizzard support after asking for a second chance, confirming the company’s no-nonsense position on Overwatch cheating: “We don’t take this decision lightly,” the email reads. “Our team issued this closure after a careful review of relevant evidence. Our support staff will not overturn these closures and may not respond to appeals.”
Currently, the game only offers casual play formats, but the developer recently confirmed that the promised ranked play mode will be rolling out later in June. Blizzard’s aggressive stance on cheating now is almost certainly in an effort to get ahead of cheating before the stakes become higher when the competitive scene forms.
What do you think? Are you reassured by Blizzard’s strong stance against cheating in its latest competitive game, or do you think they’re being overly punitive? We’ve been greatly enjoying the game so far, but stay tuned for our official review early next week.