13 million PUBG accounts have been banned since mid-2017

Cheating is a problem in an awful lot of online games, and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is no exception. It's a fairly common complaint among the PUBG community that the developers aren't doing enough to combat cheaters, but numbers assembled by redditor sjk045 indicate that a whopping 13 million accounts have been permanently banned over the past 69 weeks. 

The figure is based on weekly reports posted by Bluehole on the official Korean PUBG Cafe, indicating the number of cheaters banned that week. The banhammer swings gently at first—the first week saw 1,852 accounts banned, 1,294 accounts were taken out in week two—but it ramps up fairly quickly: 132,676 bans were handed out in week 32, and more than 1 million accounts were banned in week 42.   

Image source: sjk045

Sjk045 clarified that the numbers represent accounts banned, not people—the great likelihood is that at least some of the banned accounts belong to repeat offenders—and that they do not include temporary bans. "It clearly says that these are number of 영구 이용 정지 (which literally means Permanent Ban in Korean)," they wrote.

The bans have tailed off dramatically over the past six months, and the most recently tallied week dipped under 100,000 bans for the first time in almost a year. But as sjk045 points out, that doesn't necessarily indicate reflect the effectiveness of PUBG Corp's efforts because the number of PUBG players has also dropped significantly, from an average concurrent player count of nearly 1.6 million (and a peak of 3.2 million) in January to 535,000 (1.1 million peak) in the past 30 days.   

I've reached out to PUBG Corp for confirmation of the figure, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.