Blizzard is getting tired of banning all those South Korean Overwatch accounts for cheating in PC bangs—so it’s changing how the game is accessed.
Cheating is rampant in Korean PC bangs (gaming cafés) because of how easy it is to create free accounts anonymously. In just the first two months of 2017, Blizzard has banned more than 23,000 Overwatch accounts for using various cheats. Because PC bangs allow players to pay by the hour, users don’t have to own a copy of the game to play. Instead, they’re able to create free accounts, and getting banned on those accounts has no real downside. Players are able to easily make new ones and continue to use Overwatch hacks.
That will change on Feb. 17, Blizzard announced in a post on the Korean Overwatch blog. A Korean Battle.net account—which requires a Korean social security number to create—will be needed to log into Overwatch without a license in PC bangs. Simply having a Battle.net account is still free, but having so much information connected to an account will likely discourage players from cheating. It won’t be nearly as simple to create new accounts when one gets banned.
Players using foreign Battle.net accounts will be required to have a purchased a license for Overwatch, Blizzard said. Many of the cheating accounts in Korea were actually using North American or European accounts to get around inputting a Korean social security number.
Overwatch will be the only game affected in PC bangs by this policy change at this time, though Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 will see this adjustment in the future.