The team that made The Division have had enough and decided that it’s one strike and you’re out. From an announcement made on the official Division website, the team stated that even first time offenders would be perma-banned if caught cheating in the game.
The announcement starts by acknowledging the effect cheating has had on the gamer base:
“Cheating has been a source of frustration for our community as some individuals have been gaining an unfair advantage in the game by using third-party software at the expense of our loyal players”
The rest of the announcement delves a little further into how exactly this cheating has been occurring, information coming from a podcast they released earlier on the matter. They state:
“While some of the game decisions are made client-side, there are constant server checks in place. This ensures that even in the situation where a player would be able to modify his client data, the servers can detect it.”
It’s from the client-server disparities that allow the cheaters to cheat. As good as the server checks are, things can still slip past. When The Division was initially released, lots of things could circumvent the server checks and gamers were free to abuse these as they saw fit.
Now though, the checks are much more in-depth and secure, and it’s becoming harder and harder for players to cheat in the game without getting noticed. With this new, iron-fist approach to even first time offenders, cheating could very soon become a thing of the past entirely.
This is all well and good. However, due to the extreme amount of negative responses The Division has accumulated since release, there may not be much of a player base to cheat soon anyways. The game is haemorrhaging players on PC, according to data provided by Steam itself. The peak number of gamers playing at one time in June so far is a little over 16,000. Compare that back closer to when the game launched in March, and a peak of 114,000 players can be seen.
That is a phenomenal loss of players in that space of time. Three months and 100,000 players lave the game? Ouch. If that kind of trend continues, no one will be playing The Division at all come the end of the year.
So, it’s a good thing that The Division is becoming more regulated and less cheatable, but it might be too little too late to save it from its possibly inevitable doom. It’s very possible that the game might see a resurgence in popularity, but usually once a game has lost steam, there’s little else you can do but stoke the fire and pray for the best.
Time will tell what lies in store for the future of The Division, and what kind of legacy its tumultuous release will leave on the industry.