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Hearthstone bot cheats suspended in Blizzard crackdown

Blizzard today announced the suspension of "several thousand" Hearthstone player accounts which the company accuses of cheating.

"We've recently banned several thousand Hearthstone accounts that were associated with the use of third-party programs that automate gameplay, otherwise known as bots or botting," stated an update on the Hearthstone blog. "These accounts will be banned until 2015."

Back in August, Blizzard warned users that it was looking into the problem of bots. "As we've stated, fair play is at the core of the Hearthstone experience, and cheating and botting will not be tolerated."

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a highly regarded free-to-play card game. Launched earlier this year, it has attracted over 20 million registered users with estimated revenues of over $114 million. Blizzard added that any accounts found cheating in future will be closed permanently.

"We're committed to creating a fun and rewarding environment for our players," added the blog update. "We will continue to closely monitor activities within Hearthstone and take appropriate action against cheating in any form."