Keeping up with cheaters and ensuring they’re banned is something that most game developers have to cope with these days, but sometimes, that’s not enough. Battlestate Games, the developer and publisher behind Escape from Tarkov, a popular multiplayer tactical first-person shooter that remains in closed beta, recently banned 6,700 cheaters, but it evidently wasn’t satisfied with doing only that, having now published publicly available spreadsheets online (1, 2, 3) that include all of their nicknames. Some individuals who work in the anti-cheat departments of other companies have applauded what Battlestate Games has done, saying that they would like to do the same.
From a TechCrunch report:
“We want honest players to see the nicknames of cheaters to know that justice has been served and the cheater who killed them in a raid has been punished and banned,” Battlestate Games’ spokesperson Dmitri Ogorodnikov told TechCrunch.
Other companies, such as Call of Duty publisher Activision, or Valorant’s developer Riot Games, usually just announce the number of players they banned — not their nicknames and handles.
People in the industry believe the approach taken by Battlestate Games may be more effective and act as a better deterrent.
“Good. I wish we did it too,” an employee at a video game company, who works in the anti-cheat department and asked to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to speak to the press, told TechCrunch. “Many cheaters fabricate a false image to their friends and significant others, and when their deceitful behavior is exposed publicly, it brings shame to their name and discourages them from repeating the act.
“However, in some cases, despite being banned, these individuals simply purchase a new account with a similar profile to their old one and continue cheating without consequence, deceiving whoever they built a relationship with to play games with. Also cheaters who try to be professional and win tournaments would be exposed to the public so other players never give them the chance again to play,” they said. “You have broken the trust, you do not deserve the chance to come back.”