UK developer Facepunch Studios has banned 4,621 players from its open-world survival game Rust using its own anti-cheat software, CheatPunch.
The cheat detection tool started running during the weekend, kicking thousands of users from official servers and notifying them of permanent bans from the game.
Developer Garry Newman said CheatPunch was not a full solution, but would provide a stop-gap until hackers found a way to get around the software. He said however the studio would was "never going to be finished fighting" the hackers.
"We don’t know how stable it’s going to be, so we’re testing it out on our official servers to make sure it all works before forcing it on everyone else," said Newman.
"If you get kicked from the official servers with the message that you’ve been banned then you have been caught. You’re a naughty boy. You know what you have done. You won’t get unbanned. We know it was your 9 year old cousin. We know your computer got hijacked. We know that the CIA is getting you banned from all your games on Steam so you will join them in the hunt for aliens. We’re aiming to get a site set up for people that have been banned so they can go and see proof that they’ve been caught.
"CheatPunch isn’t the answer to all of our prayers. It’s a stop gap solution. It’s going to get rid of a bunch of cheaters, but it’s not hard to get around (by design). We fully expect cheats to be touted as ‘CheatPunch proof’ quite soon. That’s cool. We’re never going to be finished fighting."
Some users have expressed their concerns however that the tool could ban a player who hasn't cheated.
In response, Newman told Kotaku the studio hadn't seen any 'false positives' yet, and that all the people banned had deserved it.
He said Facepunch would be also be adding a new system for banned players to ask for a review, at which point a person would look at the footage and decide whether to keep the ban imposed or not.
"We haven't seen any false positives yet," said Newman.
"I've been checking everyone that has complained and haven't come across anything. In fact, it seems like the louder they shout about being innocent the longer they've been cheating. The one thing we don't want to do is ban innocent people, we try to collect as much irrefutable evidence as possible before banning someone.
"We're going to be adding a system where people that legitimately feel like they've been banned for no reason can sign in and ask for a review.. and a human will review it. We probably won't be providing any evidence, but people will either get unbanned or a 'nope' and not be able to appeal again."
Created by the developer behind Garry's Mod, Rust was released on to Steam Early Access last year, and has since made more than one million game sales.