Hundreds of thousands of Apex Legends players have been banned from the hit video game after being caught cheating.
Game developer Respawn announced on Reddit that 355,000 PC players were banned through its Easy-Anti-Cheat software. No players who play on PS4 or Xbox One consoles were banned, largely because it is far more difficult to cheat on a console by downloading cheat applications to artificially assist players in the game.
“The fight against cheaters is an ongoing war that well need to continue to adapt to and be very vigilant about fighting. We take cheating very seriously and care deeply about the health of Apex Legends for all players,” Respawn wrote.
“We are working on improvements to combat cheaters and we’re going to have to be pretty secretive about our plans. Cheaters are crafty and we don’t want them to see us coming.”
As part of the improvements, Respawn said it will introduce a new report feature will make it easier for Apex Legends players to notify the developers of suspected cheaters. Respawn also plans to scale up its anti-cheat team.
The hugely popular game has gained more than 50 million players since it launched just over one month ago. Its remarkable growth has drawn comparisons to fellow battle royale sensation Fortnite, which previously held the record for fastest-growing game.
Fortnite currently has around 200 million players, however took more than three months to reach the 50 million milestone.
The banned players from Apex Legends are unlikely to have a significant impact on the game’s growth, as players will be able to open new accounts to continue playing – though it won’t be as simple as just creating a new email address.
Respawn is able to track a user’s hardware ID – or HWID – to prevent rule-breakers from opening multiple accounts from the same machine. This means HWID spoofers are needed to bypass the ban.
The developer also addressed calls for a reconnect to match feature, which has been widely requested by players.
“We are currently not pursuing this for a couple of reasons,” Respawn wrote. “It opens a lot of risk for players to abuse it; We believe the resources needed to build, test, and release it are better spent focused on fixing stability issues so that the feature isn’t necessary.”