In-game cheating is prevalent in video games. It isn’t an opinion, but just mere fact. I mean, who could forget the days when you used Gameshark CD-ROMs to hack into the PS2, or when you enabled cheats in The Sims to barricade one of the sims you just did not like in a burning wreckage of a house and leave them unable to get out. No? Just me?
It’s not such a surprise, then, to find that there are just as many PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds cheaters as there are ants in the world Polygon reported that one million cheaters have been banned from PUBG in January alone. How would they cheat, you ask? Through various, physics-defying methods (I watched a guy shoot through walls and hitting them) that one could only wish could occur in real life. But you might think to yourself, “Oh, but cheating’s normal in video games though, who cares about cheating in PUBG?” and yes while I may have said that finding cheaters would be inevitable, it’s a little different for cheating in PUBG, specifically the impact it brings to other players when you cheat.
Imagine yourself streaming a live game of PUBG to a group of overenthusiastic teenagers and people who are too poor to buy themselves a copy of a game. You're doing well, mowing down other players and carrying your team like there's no tomorrow, when all of the sudden a guy jumps off the roof, lands without a scratch, and then shoots you as their bullet bends to strike you in the head. Instant kill. How do you think your fanbase would react seeing that? Outrage, sure, but then it'd happen again and again, it'd start happening in every single game you play, maybe even to the point where you won't be able to play five minutes without a bending bullet killing you. Your viewers would start to whittle away, they would get bored watching you die every second. Maybe this isn't too important for hobby streamers, but for those whose main income is to stream games full-time, people would stop subscribing to them and would no longer be able to support themselves through gaming, forcing them to take up another job and maybe even dropping gaming altogether. It sounds extreme, but it's a very real possibility. It's bad enough that Youtube is screwing people over by demonetising a huge number of videos, but losing subscribers would just be another blow, and may just be the final straw for some people.
Of course, rational streamers would just switch the games they'd play to keep their subscribers, but that would strike at yet another victim: PUBG's reputation itself. Already, so many reviews of PUBG on Steam that receive top votes are negative reviews and a lot of them grumble about the incessant cases of cheating (of course there are legitimate complaints about the game itself, but we're not going into that right now). As a gamer new to PUBG, would you want to cash out $40 for a game you know is riddled with scummy cheaters and probably virtually unplayable because of it? No, of course not, because you can spend that money on more universally rated games that don't have cheaters. Bluehole, the developers of PUBG, would stop maintaining PUBG altogether if their gamer base declines, perhaps even shut down the servers if the problem gets too severe.
Bluehole, particularly their partner that prevents cheating in games BattleEye, is doing a good job rooting out cheaters (come on, you have to admit finding and bannning a million problem at this moment to solve. You ban one account, they could easily make a new one whatever way it is they use, and the issue would just continue to spiral out of control. By the sheer number of cheaters, BattleEye may need to end up hiring more people to solely focus on PUBG or using a different algorithm that would be more efficient, sufficiently ending cheating in PUBG. One can only hope.
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