With pressure mounting from the Call of Duty: Warzone community, developer Infinity Ward has unveiled its plans to tackle the cheating issuing plaguing the free-to-play battle royale shooter.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, Infinity Ward laid out several measures designed to tackle the issue. Starting this week, Warzone players reporting suspected cheaters will receive an in-game notification when Infinity Ward bans a player.
The exact purpose of this is unclear, but we presume it’s to offer some form of vindication for reporters and as a way for Infinity Ward to showcase that it won’t hesitate to bring the gavel down on cheaters.
Infinity Ward’s new anti-cheat plans also include additional measures. These include the deployment of dedicated security updates, and increased resources across Warzone’s back-end tech, studio, and enforcement teams.
The developer explains that new report-a-player functionality is coming soon and will allow players to report suspected cheaters in killcam and spectate modes. With many players clocking the antics of cheaters via these modes, we should see a significant uptick in genuine cheating reports.
A further step taken to combat cheating is updated matchmaking to group suspected cheaters together.
Lumping cheaters together to duke it out among themselves carries a certain humorous quality, a satisfying comeuppance for those flouting the rules and spoiling the fun for others. But, the success of Warzone’s cheater vs. cheater lobbies hinges on execution.
How will Infinity Ward label a player as a cheater and bundle them together with other suspected cheaters? Is one report enough, or is there a set threshold that automatically sentences them to this new cheater’s gulag? Is adjudication left to an algorithm, or will the human eyes of Warzone’s enforcement team decide the merits of this or that particular instance of reporting?
There are also concerns around players abusing the system out of spite. Like any battle royale, the skill gap between the average player and the most skilled is vast. Salty layers are likely to report genuinely skilled players as an act of revenge for an untimely death.
Equally, the prevalence of cheaters in Warzone means players are naturally hyper-sensitive to their presence and scrutinize each death for signs of cheating. A player could easily construe someone with good aim having a particular stellar game as a cheater, report them, and see them unjustly confined to the cheater’s lobbies moving forward.
Infinity Ward’s pro-active approach deserves praise, but these new measures may birth more problems than they solve. Right now, it’s far too early to tell as Infinity Ward has only just deployed the update.