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Street Fighter 5 gets anti-cheat update on PC, Capcom rolls it back after it breaks the game

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Capcom’s latest update angers fighting game fans

Street Fighter 5 - Alex screenshots

Capcom released an update for Street Fighter 5 this week on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC that added a new playable character, Urien, and a host of other new features to the fighting game. The PC version of Street Fighter 5 also received new anti-cheat measures that not only broke the game for many players, but also raised concerns about security risks over how it was implemented.

Now, Capcom says it’s rolling back that update on PC and apologizing to fans.

On Thursday, Capcom released a new "client-side security update" via Steam for the Windows PC version of Street Fighter 5. Capcom called it an "anti-crack solution ... that prevents certain users from hacking the executable." The update took aim at players who were cheating and "illicitly obtaining in-game currency and other entitlements," Capcom said in a post on Steam.

That update caused headaches for Street Fighter 5 players on PC who said that the game wouldn’t launch for them after installing Thursday’s update. After users complained on Steam and on social media, Capcom said it was looking into the issues players were having.

On Capcom’s blog, the company offered potential fixes to Street Fighter 5 players, saying that computer virus detection software might be to blame.

"The new anti-crack/anti-cheat solution prevents memory access certain ways, so perhaps this is creating a false-positive situation that may trigger either the anti-virus software or Windows [Data Execution Prevention]," the company said. Capcom suggested that players add Street Fighter 5’s executable to their computer’s anti-virus software exception list.

Many players raised concerns that Capcom’s anti-cheat solution presented a security threat, labeling the Street Fighter 5 update "malware" and a rootkit in widely negative user reviews on Steam. The update wrote a new system file with Windows kernel-level access to the OS's system32 folder, which players believe was grossly overstepping the bounds of security. What’s more, players believed the anti-cheat measurements were implemented chiefly in service of maintaining Street Fighter 5’s secondary revenue model of in-game microtransactions, as some players were using trainers and hacks to cheat in the game’s single-player survival mode to unlock costumes.

On Friday, Capcom said it was rolling back Street Fighter 5’s security update for the PC version.

"After the rollback process to the PC version, all new content from the September update will still be available to players," the company said on Twitter. "We apologize for the inconvenience and will have an update on the time-frame for the PC rollback solution soon."

Capcom’s reversal on Street Fighter 5’s security update is the latest in a series of development woes for the fighting game, which has seen add-on characters and game features regularly delayed.

Update: Added more detail to the description of Capcom's implementation of the anti-cheat system file.