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Atlas admin account compromised, used to spawn planes, tanks, and giant whales

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Atlas (opens in new tab), the pirate-themed MMO from Ark: Survival Evolved (opens in new tab), can't seem to catch a break. Yesterday, someone managed to gain access to an admin's Steam account and wreak havoc across the Official NA PvP network.

Using the admin accounts' special debug commands, the interloper bombarded players with warplanes falling from the skies, a number of World War 2 tanks, and an ocean full of whales. Atlas streamer BurkeBlack just so happened to be recording the whole thing, and you can see the chaos in action below.

Here's that same streamer being almost struck by a falling plane:

And here's another streamer being assaulted with tanks:

The damage was so bad that Atlas developers Grapeshot Games had to roll back the servers by five hours, undoing any lasting effects from the impromptu summonings. They were also quick to point out, in an official statement (opens in new tab), that the incident was not caused by a hack, third-party program, or exploit and have taken "the appropriate steps to ensure this does not happen again."

Over on the Atlas subreddit (opens in new tab), players are understandably upset by the events. The prevailing theory is that those involved with this incident were a part of a company called Black Butterfly which, according to multiple Reddit threads, haven't been banned. Many players are demanding more clarification (opens in new tab) on what went wrong and why the alleged perpetrators (opens in new tab) are still playing.

While this latest incident was clearly not a bug, it's unfortunate considering all the issues that have plagued Atlas since launch. After several delays last month, the game finally launched onto Steam Early Access but still suffers from performance and stability issues (opens in new tab) and a variety of bugs that included accidentally giving NPC ships machine-gun-cannons that destroyed players within seconds (opens in new tab)—you do have to wonder what other surprises the MMO will offer up.

Thanks, RPS (opens in new tab)!

Sarah started as a freelance writer in 2018, writing for PCGamesN, TechRadar, GamingBible, Red Bull Gaming and more. In 2021, she was offered a full-time position on the PC Gamer team where she takes every possible opportunity to talk about World of Warcraft and Elden Ring. When not writing guides, most of her spare time is spent in Azeroth—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.