Since its launch in March, Call of Duty: Warzone has been banned by 500,000 players. Despite Activision’s attempts to suspend hundreds of thousands of matches, Warzone has a significant hacking epidemic that has only gotten worse over time. Activision seems to be pleased by these figures, but it isn’t doing anything to deter cheaters from appearing in the first place.
TimTheTatMan, a Twitch streamer, has recently seen an influx of hackers on his channel. One player also went so far as to track him down until the end of the session, then killing him. A Warzone hacker was banned live on his broadcast in the middle of a game after one of his squadmates tweeted Activision and developer Raven to ask them to block hackers from their stream. Many other players, however, are unable to summon a personal ban hammer.
Banned over 30,000 malicious accounts across Call of Duty yesterday… bringing us to over half a million accounts banned in #Warzone. 🚫
— Raven Software (@RavenSoftware) May 14, 2021
Last week, Raven Software announced that it had blocked 30,000 players in a single day, bringing the cumulative number of bans in Warzone to over half a million. While it is commendable that more is being done, it does not seem that anything is being done to address the problem.
The free-to-play Call of Duty spin-off recently surpassed 100 million subscribers, and it’s fair to assume that a significant portion of that figure was made up of suspended players who created new accounts so that they could cheat.
Random Warzone players have confirmed permanent bans despite no misconduct, indicating that the treatment of bans has been unpredictable. So, if unknown players get stuck in the crossfire, half a million bans may not be a good idea.
In any case, since it is free-to-play online, someone who is disqualified will just create a new account and only lose any weapon classes. Guns aren’t going to make or ruin their experience with a hacker who can just kill a player with ease anyway, so it’s not much of a punishment.
For a long time, fans have demanded harsher penalties for cheaters, as well as Activision’s commitment to preventing cheating in the first place. With over half a million Warzone bans, Activision should realize that this is a bigger problem and that the figure isn’t even anything to brag about.
If the game is to be continued for several years and to be an enduring forum, something more than slaps on the wrist can be done to get rid of the toxic players. If this trend continues, rule-abiding Warzone players are likely to abandon the game.