Escape from Tarkov developers are using public shame to fight the latest waves of cheaters

But it is very difficult: Escape from Tarkov is a multiplayer online shooter. We’re talking about a game that requires you to check your magazines and make sure you have enough ammo for the tough upcoming battles. Despite the steep learning curve, the game has become extremely popular through Twitch, and many players are pre-ordering to get into the long-term beta. Unfortunately, some find it so difficult that they feel the need to use cheats.

Cheating is very common, and an entire industry has been built to combat it. Show me an online multiplayer game, and I’ll show you a game full of cheats. For the most part, the solutions offered by the anti-cheat sector are good at spotting those who exploit the game but not very good at deterring their behaviour.

The multiplayer online shooter Escape from Tarkov has recently had a huge problem with cheaters. According to game developer Battlestate Games, it has banned more than 6,700 players in the past several days — about 4,000 during the last weekend of February and another 2,700 since then.

So the developers have created a wall of shame of sorts. It’s just a simple Google Docs spreadsheet that goes public and lists the handles of all the cheaters that have been banned. Some industry professionals believe it may be an excellent policy to deter repeat offenders.

“Good. I wish we did that too,” an anonymous employee of an unnamed competing studio told TechCrunch. “Many cheaters create a false image of their friends and significant other, and when their deceitful behavior is publicly exposed, it brings shame to their name and discourages them from repeating the act.”

Public shame would also expose the hands of cheaters who might want to play professionally in other competitive games. If more studios adopt the practice of posting titles, it could become a way to warn potential cheaters that they have a chance of ruining their budding careers. It’s the old “put your name on the board” technique that elementary school teachers have been using for decades.

“Also, cheaters who try to be pros and win tournaments will be exposed to the public, so other players don’t give them the chance to play again,” the source added. “You broke trust, you don’t deserve the chance to come back.”

Battlestate Games looks at it a little differently. The wall of shame is used to let other players know that they’re not dealing with cheaters just by banning them like every other studio does. They post names so real gamers will have the satisfaction of seeing their pesky enemy dealt with the sweet ‘justice’.

“We want honest players to see the cheaters’ nicknames to know that justice has been done and that the scammer who killed them in a raid has been punished and banned,” said studio spokesperson Dmitry Ogorodnikov.

Of course, some cheaters don’t care about their reputation. Such shame has little effect on them. They simply create a new account to continue their annoying behaviour. There will always be a problem of cheating in online games. It’s practically inevitable because the internet is destroying everything.

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