Activision has issued a fresh warning to Warzone cheaters: it may cut their parachutes so they “splat” on the ground.
In a blog post responding to concern about cheating in Call of Duty amid the launch of Modern Warfare 3, Activision explained this new trick it has in store for cheaters in the free-to-download battle royale.
“With Splat, if a cheater is discovered, we may randomly, and for fun, disable their parachute sending them careening into the ground after they deploy,” Activision said.
“But what if we catch them after they’ve deployed? Well, Splat can also adjust player velocity, which transforms a bunny hop into a 10,000-foot drop taking them out instantly. This is one of many new tricks we’ve developed – and we’ll talk about more in the future.”
All Multiplayer Maps in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Activision stressed that Splat won’t randomly turn on for a player that isn’t verified to be cheating. Player reporting won’t turn it on, and the game can’t accidentally activate it, either.
Video game cheat experts recently warned Modern Warfare 3 on PC would be “riddled” with cheaters. In an investigation by IGN, we dug into the reasons why companies like Activision find it so hard to stop them.
Part of the problem, IGN learned, is that Call of Duty cheats are easy to obtain and relatively cheap. Cheat makers were even offering free cheats for the Modern Warfare 3 beta to advertise their premium cheats for the full launch.
“While it’s fun to annoy cheaters that make it into games, our aim is to prevent them from ever getting near a match,” Activision said, before calling on players to enable two factor authentication to secure their accounts.
Activision used its blog post to dig into the challenge it faces keeping cheat makers on their toes. It said the game executable, which it must send to players so they can play Call of Duty, obviously contains detailed instructions for how the game itself works. Activision said this was like “sending out copies of our house keys”. “Imagine trying to keep a bad guy who has copies of your keys from breaking into your home,” the company added.
Activision is using its Ricochet anti-cheat tech “to make it harder to unlock the front door”. It’s deployed new “obfuscation techniques” to make the game code harder for cheat makers to analyse, and digitally locks the entire Call of Duty executable so it’s harder for cheat developers to modify the code and remove protections. “This is the ebb and flow of anti-cheat security,” Activision explained.
Part of the issue with Modern Warfare 3 specifically is that it is a sequel built upon the foundation layed by its predecessors. As IGN reported, in the same way a developer might port a game to another platform, cheat makers port their cheats to sequels. That’s how cheats like wall hacks and aimbots were available for Modern Warfare 3’s beta before it even went live.
“When we take steps to stop cheaters, they readjust their process and look for new opportunities,” Activision said. “The nature of multiplayer games, where our systems (the server) exchanges information with your computer (the clients) to make the multiplayer action happen, is how cheating can occur. Our anti-cheat efforts tackle each touchpoint of this trust process, from client to server-side systems and enhancing those process with Machine Learning to combat unfair play.”
Modern Warfare 3 is the first Call of Duty game to launch following Microsoft’s $69 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard, but don’t expect it to hit Game Pass until 2024. Check out IGN’s review of Modern Warfare 3’s single-player campaign to find out more. As for multiplayer, check out IGN’s Modern Warfare 3 loadout guide.