Online multiplayer gaming is a beautiful thing, and thanks to high-speed Internet connections, it is a phenomenon that has transformed modern day gameplay. It's why battle royale shooters can exist, and be so popular. Unfortunately, cheating is a real problem, and the only ones who like a cheater are those who are profiting from them. This has created quite the headache for developers like Respawn Entertainment.
Apex Legends is the hot new battle royale shooter that has attracted 50 million players in just one month. By all accounts, it is a hit franchise for publisher Electronic Arts, which stands to rake in money hand over fist the way Epic Games does with its also-popular Fortnite game. In order for that to happen, though, Respawn Entertainment has to get a handle on a growing community of cheaters.
The folks at Kotaku spoke with five creators and sellers of cheat tools, including aimbots and hacking software, designed for Apex Legends. The one common refrain among all five is that making cheat software is a big business.
Respawn Entertainment has already dropped the ban hammer on 355,000 cheaters in Apex Legends, which is both impressive and concerning. It would be naive to think that banning hundreds of thousands of cheaters would be the end of the situation. This is going to be an ongoing problem, and it will require diligence on Repawn Entertainment's part.
The developer may want to take a page from Epic Games. One of the cheat makers said he was previously making hacks for Fornite, but that Epic Games beefed up its security software. This threw a wrench into the operation, but what really pushed away cheat makers is the threat of lawsuits.
According to that particular developer, the prospect of being sued is what drove him and many other cheat makers away from Fortnite, and right into the hands of Apex Legends. The newest battle royale shooter is, simply put, easier and more lucrative to build cheats for, and so that is what they are currently doing.
How lucrative? In just four days, the aforementioned cheat maker generated $5,000. With that kind of money out there, the incentive is high to continue being a bane of online gaming. It also means this problem is not likely to go away simply by banning players. Better security tools are needed, and if lawsuits are what ultimately scare cheat makers away, then so be it.