Blizzard is enacting a strict no cheating policy with its upcoming Overwatch multiplayer first-person shooter.
Players who are found using hacks, bots, or third-party software to gain an unfair advantage will be permanently banned from the game. Blizzard says this policy is being enforced to "preserve the integrity" of the title.
"If a player is found to be cheating—or using hacks, bots, or third-party software that provides any sort of unfair advantage—that player will be permanently banned from the game. Full stop. Not only does cheating undermine the spirit of fair play that all of our products are based on, but it works to diminish the fun and enjoyment of others," reads a forum posting by Blizzard.
Overwatch players will have two different ways of reporting players who are cheating. There's a dedicated firstname.lastname@example.org email as well as a "report" feature in the in-game menu.
How Blizzard verifies if someone is actually cheating is unclear, though the company says it will be reviewing gameplay footage. However, it won't be game footage captured by the player as their in-game camera system "does not always play back footage at the same fidelity as real-time gameplay."
The company also warns that bugs in the in-game camera system may affect playback footage. For these reasons, Blizzard will never ban a player based solely on video footage.
Blizzard also addresses the potential abuses with its reporting features. "Some players are just really good at first-person shooters. Through practice and years of experience, these players' movements and reaction times can occasionally appear unnatural (if not physically impossible) to those who may not have been exposed to that particular level of play before."