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PUBG Corp. confirms the arrest of 15 hackers in China

“We’ll continue to crack down ... until our players are free to battle it out in a totally fair environment.”

PUBG Corp.
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has a cheating problem. To combat the problem it seems that the developer, PUBG Corp., is resorting to drastic measures, including working with local law enforcement to make arrests in China.

Rumors of arrests trickled out of China earlier this year when police reportedly picked up some 130 individuals on 30 different open cases. Unfortunately, those numbers were never confirmed. Now the game’s developer and publisher PUBG Corp. has formally announced 15 arrests made by Chinese authorities. Charges include “developing and selling hacking/cheating programs that affect PUBG.” Fines are said to be in excess of $5.1 million.

“The longstanding rumor that hacking/cheating programs extract information from users’ PCs has been confirmed to be true,” PUBG Corp. said in the announcement. “Using illegal programs not only disrupts others, but can end up with you handing over your personal information.

“We’ll continue to crack down on hacking/cheating programs (and their creators) until our players are free to battle it out in a totally fair environment.”

According to its partner BattleEye, cheating in Battlegrounds has been rising exponentially since the end of 2017. Publicly available information indicates that, as of January 2018, PUBG Corp. may have been forced to ban more than 13 percent of its own player base. Recent updates to Battlegrounds have added new layers to its anti-cheat strategy, including new ways of gathering data on players. PUBG Corp. said that it’s sharing this information with authorities in China and around the world.

“We’ve upgraded our security measures, improved our anti-cheat solutions, and recently even added a new anti-cheat solution on top of all that,” PUBG Corp. said. “In the meantime, we’ve also been continuously gathering information on hack developers (and sellers) and have been working extensively with multiple partners and judicial authorities to bring these people to justice.”