Apex Legends may not be getting as much buzz as it had around launch, but developers Respawn have been busy. This week, they announced that they’ve canned 770,000 players.
In addition to banning over half a million players, they’ve also stopped 300,000 account creations, and in the last 20 days frozen 4,000 cheat seller accounts. For Respawn, who announced last week that they were getting serious about cheaters, this is reportedly just the beginning.
“We take cheating in Apex Legends incredibly seriously and have a large amount of resources tackling it from a variety of angles,” said Respawn in a blog post discussing the bans. “It is a constant war with the cheat makers that we will continue to fight.”
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“We can’t share details on what we’re doing so as to not give a head’s up to the cheat makers, but what we can say is that we’re attacking this from every angle,” added Respawn, claiming they’ve made improvements in detecting cheaters but also in providing additional resources and tools to the anti-cheat team to help establish a better foundation.
Apex Legends’ cheating problem is largely down to how popular the whole thing is. In just a week, 25 million players flocked to the game, and that number swelled to some 50 million before the end of its first month. Respawn have supported the free to play game with some gusto, adding new characters, rebalancing weapons and working towards new content for the hungry fanbase.
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However, battling cheaters can be a difficult proposition, especially when it comes to battle royale games. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which enjoyed similarly levels of popularity, have huge problems expelling cheaters from the game, without also booting out legitimate players. This can be more of a problem than bugs or balance issues, but a cheater can ruin the game for an entire lobby, no matter how overt their cheating is. Someone using obvious cheats can make you frustrated that you’ve been killed by a cheater, while someone using subtle hacks can make players feel like they’re unable to get better at the game, quitting with frustration.
Apex Legends will have a more difficult time. In addition to trying to solve the cheating problem as seen above, as a free to play game they’ll also need to prevent banned players from simply registering another free account and getting back into the game.