China Cracking down on PUBG Cheaters with Arrests, Jail Time

China Cracking down on PUBG Cheaters with Arrests, Jail Time

Tencent wants to keep the battlefield honorable.

Nobody likes to play with a cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater, especially in a last-man-standing game like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. A certain amount of skill is required to survive the battle royale, and anyone who utilizes cheating software is practically taking the chicken dinner right out of your mouth.

China makes up about half of PUBG's playerbase (though the game won't see an official release in the region until later this year), and cheating is unfortunately rampant. That's why PUBG's Chinese publisher, Tencent, is working with the country's police force to root out and round up cheaters.

Naughty PUBG cheaters get sent to a wasteland where they're forced to fight for survival. Wait...

It's unsurprising Tencent is cracking down on PUBG's cheating problem. Kim Hak-joon, a video game stock analysist for South Korea's Kiwoom Securities Co, points out potential long-term players will bounce out of the game as soon as it becomes apparent they can't win because people aren't playing fair.

"PUBG is going through a puberty of sorts and cheaters threaten to stunt its growth," he says. "Cheaters mostly drive away new users, and without retaining new users, PUBG won't be able to consolidate its early success and become a long-lasting hit."

So far, China has opened about 30 cases against accused cheaters. It's made 120 arrests. Some of the alleged cheats include X-ray vision and auto-targeting. Past offenders have been sentenced with jail time, so it's clear this matter is very serious business. It'll be interesting to see if this intense crackdown does indeed deter other cheaters, or if they'll just be emboldened. Imagine risking it all for chicken, though. I suppose some people would do it.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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