In theory, the build-in crossplay feature embedded into the latest Call of Duty titles should have been a welcome addition for fans of the franchise.
The crossplay setting, present in both Modern Warfare and the recently-released Warzone, allows users to play together, regardless of what hardware they are using. This means that PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC owners can all participate in the same battle, which is something players have been requesting for years.
However, console players are now being forced to abandon the highly anticipated mode - due to persistent cheating by some users.
A recent tweet from Infinity Ward - the developer behind the franchise - revealed the scale of the issue, with the company confirming that they had been forced to ban a number of unscrupulous users who had been taking advantage of the crossplay mode in order to cheat fellow players.
"We've now issued over 70,000 bans worldwide to protect Warzone from cheaters," tweeted Infinity last week. "We're continuing to deploy dedicated security updates and work continues on improving in-game reporting. We'll share more details soon. We are watching. We have zero tolerance for cheaters."
Infinity's statement came following frequent complaints from console players that they had regularly been encountering users who were able to shoot through walls, automatically hit enemy heads and play without recoil - amongst other issues. The worst affected area of play is reportedly the Battle Royale mode.
Those employing these tactics would seem almost exclusively to be PC users, able to manipulate the game without detection.
The free-to-play Warzone has become a particular target for dishonest players, as these individuals have little to lose if they are caught cheating. In the event that Infinity bans a player's account on the Warzone servers, then that user can - at present - simply sign up for a new account.
The issue also exists on Modern Warfare, although dishonest behaviour in respect of this title appears far less prevalent. This is, presumably, because players have to pay for the game, and so are less willing to run the risk of an online ban.
Despite Infinity's assurances of a no-nonsense approach towards cheaters, many honest players have simply had enough. Fed up of the blatant dishonesty demonstrated by some, console players are now opting to disable the crossplay feature - safe in the knowledge that they will, at least, find a level playing field on their own platform.
It is a great shame that the crossplay feature, which has the potential to unite players regardless of their choice of platform, is being ruined by a minority who seem intent upon damaging the in-game experience for their own gain. One would hope that Infinity is quickly able to find a system that weeds out the cheats, in order to allow everyone to enjoy these games as they were intended.
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