Editor’s Note: To support the developers and employees at Activision Blizzard pushing for change, we are covering the games that they are working hard on making. However, we need to acknowledge that the push for change amid the lawsuit alleging a discriminatory “frat boy” culture is still ongoing. As those employees seek a shift in the company’s culture, they are still passionately developing games, and we’re highlighting the work they are doing. We will also continue to report on the issues at Activision Blizzard as the employees seek to reform the culture and make it a safer, equal, and more inclusive workplace.
Call of Duty: Warzone’s enormous success also means that the free-to-play battle royale title is plagued with cheaters. Very few, if any, online games are safe from cheaters, but Warzone’s cheating problems have gotten so bad that many top Call of Duty content creators have been actively calling attention to it, with many even calling the game basically “unplayable.” Anti-cheat comes up as a frequent topic of conversation among Call of Duty fans, more so lately with how egregious the cheating issues in the game have become. However, developer Raven Software may be working on a solution of some kind.
Raven tweeted that it had banned more than 50,000 accounts today, adding “More importantly, we are listening and hard at work behind the scenes.”
Today we banned over 50,000 accounts in #Warzone.
More importantly, we are listening and hard at work behind the scenes.
We will have more info for you soon.
— Raven Software (@RavenSoftware) August 11, 2021
While anti-cheat wasn’t specifically mentioned, saying “we are listening” shows that Raven is well aware of the frustrations many players have with the ongoing cheating problems that are present in Warzone. “We’ll have more info for you soon, ” the studio closed its tweet.
Raven has issued ban waves in the past, but players have expressed frustration that it is easy for cheaters to simply create new accounts to continue cheating, thanks to the game being free-to-play. Activision has also targeted cheat manufacturers with legal action, but it’s a big game of whack-a-mole that is hard to get under control as more pop up. Some suggestions to prevent this have been in a better anti-cheat system for the game itself, and IP and hardware bans to make creation of new accounts more difficult. It’s not clear which of these, if either, Raven is working towards.
However, with this year’s Call of Duty rumored to connect to Warzone in a bigger way than ever before, it’s almost certain that Raven and Sledgehammer don’t want cheating issues to be at the forefront of the conversation about the game as they continue to support its continued growth.
Cheating can come in many forms, from instant unlocks of in-game cosmetics and items, to cheats that impact other players like autotargeting and “wallhacks,” or the ability to see other players’ locations through walls. Others have made players invisible, frequently culminating in unfair deaths for legitimate players just trying to enjoy the game and snag a win. Console players can somewhat avoid the issues by disabling cross-play with PC players, but even the console environment isn’t entirely free of cheats and hackers, particularly for a game of this size.
What kind of Warzone anti-cheat measures Raven is working on remain to be seen, but the developer has at least made it clear that players have been heard, and they are hard at work on solving the problem. There’s even some speculation that the Season Five delay could be a last minute push to get the Warzone anti-cheat solution live alongside the new season. Either way, we should know more soon.