H1Z1 Cheating Apology Videos Start Appearing

Posted May 22, 2015
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Three days ago, John Smedley, the president of Daybreak, announced that they had started banning cheaters. They ended up banning a striking number of players from H1Z1 for cheating. To become un-banned there were certain requirements that had to be met, namely a public apology on YouTube, showing how sincere you are. Those videos have now started to appear from those banned cheaters.

Cheaters banned from H1Z1 actually did post videos apologizing to the public, some got un-banned.

John Smedley takes a very hard approach to cheating, and he is most certainly unapologetic about doing such. 30,000 people were banned due to their chicanery since Daybreak began their banning spree. Of those 30K that were banned from H1Z1, around five have been un-banned due to their cooperation in uploading a public apology video to YouTube.

Smedley hates cheaters, absolutely abhors their existence, and this is his way of attempting to curb cheating behaviors. His idea is that by publicly shaming some of these cheaters, it could hopefully have a butterfly effect and maybe lead to at least small amounts of change. He released a statement on Reddit explaining why he wanted public apologies.

I’ll give you my perspective. So far we’ve unbanned 3 people out of 30k we’ve now banned. One of which is probably about to get re-banned for taking his video private.

I want to make sure it’s clear there are consequences for cheating. You don’t just get to make a video and get unbanned. This is a very limited time thing to try and raise awareness of what’s actually going on. You may say “hey there clearly aren’t consequences if you are unbanning people”. Let’s get back to the part where I said we’ve unbanned 3 people. If these videos go far and wide and it elevates the importance of getting rid of the cheaters in PC gaming, I feel it’s an excellent trade.

Why?

Here’s why. These guys could easily go right back in, make a new steam account.. use an HWID hack and play anyways. Yes, that’s the reality. It’s ugly, but there it is. And it’s true for every single PC game out there. Even the ones that say it isn’t.

So is this the right move? I don’t know. But doing the same thing we have been doing is a tough fight and I’d like to at least try something different.

Video submissions end at Noon PST today anyways. Maybe by then it will be 4 or 5.

Update at 1:08 Pacific –

We unbanned 5 out of 30k.

Smed

Indeed, is this move a smart move on his part? Could there be another way to have cheaters be accountable for their actions? Even though it may seem a bit extreme at its core, it did have an effect of some kind. He is right, though, in that it being banned isn’t necessarily prohibitive to playing for those that are imaginative enough to want to try again. It’s likely a cycle that’s going to repeat itself, no matter how mad or angry he appears to become.

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Cheating has always been an interesting conundrum. True cheaters will persist regardless of controls put in place, so there is really little that can be done. Public shaming might only lead to angering a portion of the cheating community, setting a precedent that might lead to adverse action to game servers or players on a far more grand scale. It’s difficult to say what this type of action will bring, though perhaps any action is better than none. Maybe this will make a difference.

And now for some apology videos.

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