Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Warzone anti-cheat effort seems to be making an impact in the free-to-download battle royale.
This week, the developer enabled two-step SMS authentication for new Warzone PC users who log-in as free-to-play.
This was seen as a crucial step in the fight against Warzone cheaters, many of whom would simply create a new account, download the free-to-play Warzone and jump straight back into the action after a ban.
This move came alongside a raft of new security measures from Infinity Ward, including giving those who report suspected cheaters confirmation in-game when a player is banned, and updated matchmaking to match suspected cheaters together.
It's early days, of course, but it feels like Infinity Ward is starting to get a grip on Warzone cheating. And cheaters who spend hundreds of dollars on Warzone cheats that are now seemingly useless are expressing their frustration.
One now-locked reddit post that saw 15,000 upvotes this week included an image of a forum post rant from a cheater who warned others against buying a now-useless cheat because of shadowbans and having to have a brand new phone number each time a new account was created.
Cheaters forums are now full of whining people that can't play anymore. What a wonderful feeling. Thank you, IW. from r/CODWarzone
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I've had a look at the forums of well-known video game cheat websites, which I won't name or link to, and there are some fresh posts from Warzone cheaters asking for help in how to combat new shadowbans believed to be linked to PC hardware. One member even wonders whether cheating is now worth the effort, saying: "Is COD Warzone really worth all this hassle, is the game THAT fun or is cheating in it and beating down kids worth THAT much trouble? If I were banned, that'd be it. I wouldn't even create a new account."
Of course, no anti-cheat can truly eradicate cheating in a video game. "The fight against cheat programs is never-ending," PUBG executive producer Taeseok Jang recently admitted. But perhaps Infinity Ward is starting to make a dent in Warzone cheating – so much so that perhaps the console players who disabled crossplay in order to avoid PC cheaters will consider re-enabling the feature.