The Cost of Cheating

When it comes to online games, there is a bizarrely hidden cost to people cheating. While it may seem totally harmless on the surface, companies have to waste resources and have personnel actively working on the problem players.

Two games brought this to light this week. First is the indie darling PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, who sent out a tweet saying that their cheat-busting methods have lead to the banning of more than 150,000 people. 8,000 of which were in the 24 hours prior to the tweet being posted. To put this in perspective, PUBG also recently boasted breaking 10 million players. So that means more than 1.5% of the total playerbase of the game has been banned for cheating. Which is nuts.

Next we have Overwatch, another immensely popular multiplayer game. The Game's Director released a video discussing players cheating and griefing in the game and telling players that combating these practices is hindering the development of the game. He talks about how they are working to combat toxic players and cheaters, and what players can do to help.

It sucks that resources have to be diverted for dealing with this stuff. It sucks that developers and companies have to go out of their way to curb bad behavior instead of improving their games. Some toxicity can be mitigated by other players, but a lot like road rage, some of it will happen whether people try to be helpful and nice or not. But cheating seems like an entirely different coin. Is there a way for a community to combat cheating? Or is the nature of exploiting these kinds of things such that it exists because there is a community there for it to antagonize?

What do you think? Have you ever dealt with someone cheating in a game you were a part of? Did you report it? Did anything happen? What's the most toxic player you've ever had to deal with? Let us know your comedy/horror stories in the comments below.


There's nothing going on this weekend that I find interesting, but the League of Legends World Championships begin next weekend. North America (USA! USA! USA!) is being represented by three really strong teams this year. For those that don't know, they use a weird "World Cup" style for the tournament where teams are randomly distributed into groups. They play the teams in their group. Then the top two teams from each group advance into a single elimination tournament.

Here's an awesome video explaining the whole format. It's a little complicated.

And here you can watch the official sorting/draw for the tournament if you want to hear about the teams and see all the pomp and circumstance.

We'll talk about this more next week. And I hope you'll help me cheer on all three North American Teams as they try to bring home our first world championship!