Tencent, the publisher of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in China, is putting in extra effort to crack down on hackers in the region, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Tencent has begun to enlist Chinese law enforcement to “root out the underground rings that make and sell cheat software,” according to the report. These efforts have already led to at least 30 cases and 120 arrests.
The arrested parties are suspected of designing multiple kinds of cheat software, everything from aimbots to wallhacks. Cheating has been a consistent problem in PUBG after it was released into Steam early access in March and gained popularity.
Just a few weeks ago, BattlEye reported over 1.5 million bans for hacks in PUBG, but the hackers continue to flow into the game regardless.
“PUBG is going through a puberty of sorts and cheaters threaten to stunt its growth,” said Kim Hak-joon, gaming analyst for South Korea’s Kiwoom Securities Co., to Bloomberg. “Cheaters mostly drive away new users, and without retaining new users, PUBG won’t be able to consolidate its early success and become a long-lasting hit.”
China makes up 10 million of the PUBG players that were active in the game in the last two weeks, according to Steam data collector SteamSpy, compared to about two million in the U.S. and eight million in the rest of the world. Not all, but many of the game’s hackers come from the region, and Tencent knows it.
It remains to be seen if Tencent’s efforts will put a dent in the neverending war against those looking to gain an unfair advantage in one of the world’s most popular games, but it’s somewhat comforting to know how seriously the publisher is taking the issue.