PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is undoubtedly one of the biggest games on PC right now, boasting over 30 million players on the platform following the game's launch out of Steam Early Access in December. However, alongside the game's popularity, also arrived a cheater problem, with the game's anti-cheat service, BattlEye, revealing it had banned more than 1.5 million accounts by late last year.
Tencent, the PUBG distributor in China, announced last year that it planned to crack down on cheaters in the region, and according to a report by Bloomberg, this has come to fruition. Per the report, Tencent has helped the police "uncover at least 30 cases and arrest 120 people," that are believed to be involved in the manufacturing of cheating software.
Bloomberg says the cost of purchasing a cheat software varies, with it finding one vendor selling software that offered a number of cheats, such as a "birds-eye view of the map," for just 100 yuan ($15).
These "underground rings" reportedly use PUBG's own leaderboards to advertise cheats, with top scoring players having contact information for getting a hold of cheat software as their nicknames. The story also notes that one cheat dealer even advised customers to “maintain control and keep your kills within 15 people per game,” likely to avoid being detected for blatant cheating.
If convicted, these cheat architects won't be getting a slap on the wrist either, as under Chinese law, the sentence for "disrupting computer networks" can be five or more years in prison. Although we can't be sure what kind of an impact will these actions have on PUBG's cheating problem, trying to stop it at the source is certainly one way of tackling it.
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