Tarkov developer Battlestate Games is getting medieval with the game's cheaters. Not content with merely banning rogue players who make use of things like wallhacks and aimbots, the studio is now shaming them publicly, too. Techcrunch (opens in new tab) reports that Battlestate has banned 6,700 cheaters from Tarkov in the last week, and it's published every single one of their nicknames in an easy-to-read spreadsheet (opens in new tab).
Publishing the cheaters' names is meant to serve a dual purpose, both shaming the cheaters in a public space and showing non-cheaters that Battlestate is taking action. "We want honest players to see the nicknames of cheaters," a Battlestate spokesperson told Techcrunch, in order to "know that justice has been served". It's a practice that the studio intends to make a habit of, and there are already numerous spreadsheets filled with cheaters' names on the company's Twitter. (opens in new tab)
Battlestate has strong opinions about players who use cheats in its game. It was a little over a week ago that company COO Nikita Buyanov took to Reddit (opens in new tab) to decry the actions of "Hackers, cheaters and other related scum of the earth," encouraging players to "report all these bastards". Of course, it wasn't long before some commenters pointed out that—as emotive as its statement was—Battlestate has made these kinds of posts before, and cheaters are still ruining games for players. Perhaps Battlestate wants to convince the doubters it means business by mounting 6,700 proverbial heads on spikes?
The community has regarded the move with sceptical eye so far. While some players have revelled in the public display of justice—a user named Epic_Tea (opens in new tab) summed up their mood with a post that just read "More!! Ban them all!"—far more are worried that the bans are like "trying to mop the rain," in the words of a player called JangoDarkSaber (opens in new tab). One much-upvoted post on the game's subreddit, from SeparateAddress9070 (opens in new tab), imagines a follow-up announcement from Battlestate reading "In other news, we had record sales of new accounts this weekend!" as the cheaters bought their way back into the game.
So Battlestate has a lot of work ahead of it if it wants to convince the community that it's serious about stamping about cheaters. Still, this isn't exactly a bad way to go about doing that, and I imagine there are more than a few players scanning the published ban lists to see if the devs caught that one guy who personally victimised them. I admit, I'd probably feel a little vindication if I spotted the name of someone who managed to miraculously headshot me through a solid wall in the latest wave of bans.