PUBG has banned over 13 million players for hacking since June of 2017, but it still remains swamped by cheaters.
Earlier this year, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole finally acknowledged that their game had a serious hacker problem. In almost every game there would be at least one player--usually based in China--who was using some form of illegal software to give them a leg-up on the competition.
They partnered with BattlEye, a leading anti-cheat software provider, to try and tackle the issue. In January alone they banned over 1 million accounts for cheating. And yet the problem persisted.
Now it turns out they’ve banned over 13 million accounts.
Reddit user sjk045 (by way of Eurogamer) took it upon themselves to do a bit of sleuthing to see just how effective PUBG’s banning has been. PUBG’s Korean site has been posting regular updates with just how many accounts have been banned, so sjk045 simply copied each post into Excel and added them all together.
The final tally of bans was staggering: 13,099,548 banned since June of 2017.
And these are permanent bans, not just the temporary bans that are sometimes handed out for first offenses. These are accounts that will never be useable again since they’ve been found to repeatedly and grossly utilize illegal software to cheat in PUBG.
There were a few other interesting statistics found in sjk045’s data dive. In the 69 weeks that PUBG has been holding mass banwaves, this is the first week that the number of players banned in a single week has fallen below the 25th week’s level. On the whole, cheaters have been decreasing in the game since February, and that rate is steadily falling.
Unfortunately, and as sjk045 notes in their Reddit post on the subject, the number of concurrent players in PUBG has also been falling since February. From over 3 million players, PUBG now averages around 900,000 people playing at any given time, and that number continues to dwindle.
The falling rates of cheaters are more likely a matter of the game’s overall population declining and not because PUBG’s anti-cheat measures are particularly effective.
To put it mildly, Fortnite has been eating PUBG’s lunch, and it might just be because Fortnite doesn’t have a massive and pervasive problem of cheaters ruining the game.