Is the latest wave of hackers ruining the experience for the top Warzone players?

18:30, 29 Jul 2020

Since its release back in March, Warzone has quickly become one of the most popular battle royale titles in the genre. The second attempt at a Call of Duty BR game has seen tens of millions download the game and drop into Verdansk in search of a trip on the victory helicopter. 

Nearly five months after its release, the free to play (FTP) game has seen a wave of players using cheats in order to gain an unfair advantage on players, much to the annoyance of casual and competitive players.

With the hackers seemingly ruling the streets of Verdansk combined with a lack of intervention from Warzone developers Infinity Ward, are the cheaters pushing away a large number of players along with some of its very best players? We take a look.

Yes, Yes They Are

Despite Infinity Ward implementing a two-factor authentication system to prevent cheaters from playing the game, they have managed to create a bypass which enables them to continue to use programs which gives them a huge advantage over the vast majority of players in a lobby.

The issue has seen popular Warzone streamer Nick “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff openly criticise Infinity Ward for the way it has handled the issue of cheaters. What’s particularly interesting about NICKMERCS calling out the developers, is that he is the face of the MFAM Gauntlet tournament which is partnered by Activision, the publisher of the Call of Duty franchise and Warzone.  Surely such criticism coming from an Activision partner is going to provoke some sort of action from Infinity Ward?

Warzone Hackers

NICKMERCS isn’t the only personality expressing his annoyance at the lack of action to tackle the cheaters. Sidemen member Vikram “Vikkstar” Singh Barn has also expressed his frustration, saying that he is going to send footage of hackers to Infinity Ward in an attempt to get some form of intervention put in place before Verdansk becomes overrun with cheaters taking on cheaters on a regular basis.

The lack of action from Infinity Ward comes as a surprise considering the immense popularity of Warzone. Given its popularity, many thought that the developers would quickly intervene to quash the problem before it gets out of hand but instead, Infinity Ward released a statement stating that another wave of bans is coming soon and encouraged players not to use any third-party hacks or mods to gain an advantage. Since it was posted on July 24, no action has been taken, enabling hackers to continue to run riot.

What Can Be Done?

When hackers first became a problem, Infinity Ward added two-factor authentication for players alongside a new reporting system which enabled players to report any signs of suspicious activity if they saw it taking place during a match. These actions alleviated the problem until the beginning of July, when more and more players dropped into Verdansk armed with aimbots and wallhacks. There are a range of things which Infinity Ward could do to keep the number of hackers down to a minimum.

Warzone Hackers

The vast majority of battle royale games contain a dedicated anti-cheat software which detects and takes swift action on any player deemed to be using any program to gain an advantage over their opponents. For Warzone to maintain its player base and to prevent it from moving to another battle royale with a superior anti-cheat system already in place, a piece of dedicated anti-cheat software within the game could prove to be the ideal solution as Warzone heads into its fifth season of post-launch content.

A Lasting Impact

This latest wave of hackers in Warzone has already driven away thousands of players that would rather play another game with fewer cheaters in its playlists. With still no signs of Infinity Ward performing some form of intervention, this second wave of hackers may have left a lasting impact on the player base. 

It’s no secret that Infinity Ward has often been slow to implement fixes to game-breaking flaws in Modern Warfare, but it’s surprising to see the developer being slow to react on such a critical issue which the community has been extremely vocal about for the past two months. A message asking cheaters not to cheat isn’t exactly going to cut the mustard.

Warzone has been a runaway success for both Activision and Infinity Ward. Some may even say that releasing a free-to-play battle royale game that looks and feels like Call of Duty was a stroke of genius and it certainly has been. Despite its success, there is a real chance that hackers could stop the growth of Warzone dead in its tracks if no action is taken by the developers in the very near future. The start of Season 5 would be the perfect place to begin the next wave of bans and potentially introduce a new anti-cheat system in order to keep players focused on Warzone before all attention moves onto the release of Call of Duty 2020.
 

Images courtesy of MFAM Gauntlet and Activision

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