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Is Temtem’s Zero-Tolerance Cheating Ban Too Draconian?

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:32 PM
William Worrall
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:32 PM
  • Temtem is a Pokemon-Like MMO that was released in late January 2020 to rave reviews.
  • The game’s developer has been waging a vicious war against cheaters, banning nearly 900 in one fell swoop.
  • While it’s good to see a company taking a stand against cheaters, is it possible Temtem is taking this too far?

Temtem has been a smash hit since its release  [SteamDB] two weeks ago. It appears that the Pokemon-like MMO has already attracted a fair amount of shady activity. But the developers are sending a message that cheaters will quickly come face to face with the banhammer.

The Temtem Twitter account announced today that nearly 900 players had been permanently banned for abusing exploits while playing the game. There will be no appeals process.

temtem cheating ban
Source: Twitter 

While cheating is the scourge of online games like Temtem, is this response just a bit too strong?

No ‘Cheating Is Bad’ Essays for Temtem Players

Cheating in online games is uncool. It makes the experience worse for everyone (including the cheater!) when someone uses software to exploit at an online game.

And what’s the point? There’s almost always no real incentive to cheat. Unless you like lying to yourself and everyone else, of course. In which case, enjoy your hollow victories.

Some companies, such as Valve, take a hardline stance against cheaters  [Steam Game Partners]. But most developers offer recalcitrant players a second chance – or at least a path out. You’ll have an opportunity to appeal the ban, and – if necessary – change your ways. You might even have to write an essay on why cheaters are the worst  [Kotaku].

But Temtem’s developers aren’t having any of that. No appeals. Ever.

At Least They’re Doing Something

The Temtem approach might seem a bit draconian, especially since some of the “cheaters” were just abusing bugs in the early-access game – not running third-party software. If the cheats are the fault of the developer’s bugs, is it really fair to permanently ban people who used them?

No matter how you feel about it, it’s at least nice to see a company doing something about online cheaters. It’s certainly preferable to EA’s infamously lackadaisical approach to policing its servers  [EA].

At least when you play Temtem, you can be sure no one else is cheating. With zero-tolerance policies this harsh, it’s far too risky to bend the rules and see what you can get away with.

Temtem is looking more and more like the answer to Pokemon Sword and Shield that the #Dexit folks were looking for.