Blizzard bans more than 100,000 World of Warcraft accounts

World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria - Panda kicks Heron

Blizzard has dropped the banhammer on a "large number" of World of Warcraft players found to be using bots to automate their gameplay. According to a screen capture of a GM chat posted to Imgur, the suspensions will last for six months and affect more than 100,000 accounts.

"We’ve recently taken action against a large number of World of Warcraft accounts that were found to be using third-party programs that automate gameplay, known as 'bots'," Blizzard wrote in the announcement of the bans. "We’re committed to providing an equal and fair playing field for everyone in World of Warcraft, and will continue to take action against those found in violation of our Terms of Use. Cheating of any form will not be tolerated."

Kotaku noted that the ban impacts not just "hardcore PvP botters," but anyone using bots to automate tasks. As World of Warcraft Community Manager Micah "Bashiok" Whipple wrote on Twitter, "Botting is defined as automation of any action, not just character movement. If a program is pressing keys for you, you've violated the ToU." That may explain why this latest round of bans isn't permanent, but expires after six months.

Whatever the specifics, let this serve as a reminder to all: Cheaters actually do prosper quite often, but sometimes their shenanigans catch up to them. You've (again) been warned.

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.