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Massive video game cheating ring busted by Chinese police and Tencent

Authorities seized luxury cars as part of the bust

Overwatch’s Tracer points her guns in a piece of key artwork Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

The giant tech conglomerate Tencent and Chinese authorities collaborated to shut down what the police described as the “world’s largest” operation dedicated to selling video game cheats.

Citing local media reports, the BBC reported that the enterprise sold cheats for popular games like Overwatch and Call of Duty Mobile. Local authorities said that the group, called Chicken Drumstick, sold cheats to “hundreds of countries and regions” through a website. Police reportedly seized around $46 million in assets — including luxury cars — and arrested 10 people in connection with the ring. The operation reportedly sold subscriptions costing as much as $10 per day or $200 a month, for revenues of $76 million.

This isn’t the first time Tencent has collaborated with the police to bust cheating. In 2018, the company started cracking down on people cheating in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Police described the organization as the “world’s biggest” cheating operation due to the large sums of money and games involved.

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