EA Investigating Incorrect Battlefield 3 PunkBuster Bans

EA apologizes if you've been wrongfully banned from Battlefield 3, but there’s not much it can do about it.

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Electronic Arts is currently looking into the possibility that it incorrectly banned Battlefield 3 players for cheating when they didn't, the company has announced.

“We are investigating an issue of PunkBuster bans that were incorrectly applied to some of our players,” EA said. “Please understand that our game advisors are not able to access or overturn PunkBuster bans, but we're working with our partners at Even Balance to get this resolved as quickly as possible.”

PunkBuster is a popular anti-cheating software that works similarly to anti-virus software. It’s developed and managed by Even Balance, not EA. In recent years, games like Call of Duty have been switching from PunkBuster to Valve’s Anti-Cheat solution (VAC). Even EA’s Titanfall, for example, uses a different anti-cheat program, FairFight, but the Battlefield games including the upcoming Battlefield Hardline continue to use PunkBuster.

If you've been impacted by this issue, EA said you can appeal the ban directly by following the instructions found here. EA also apologized for the inconvenience this may have caused and said players should stay tuned for updates on the issue.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

28 comments
tableofjapan
tableofjapan

"EA apologizes if you've been wrongfully banned from Battlefield 3, but there’s not much it can do about it"

"Sorry you've been banned, theres not much we can do about it though...even though we own the game and run the servers and can easily un-ban you"

Faster_Bill
Faster_Bill

There is a solution: EA can just stop existing and 70% of all gamers problems will be solved instantly.

Baconelite
Baconelite

I have hated PunkBuster ever since BF2142. I want it to die.

madgame23
madgame23

Companies have no choice with steam. If your MP game is on steam, I believe Valve requires that steam be used. It's the same for Origin, they have two options, punk buster and fair fight. To VAC is more lacking compared to PB because COD is plagued with hackers and the system still hasn't been able to keep up, that and hackers can cheat day one of any release. I haven't seen any visible hackers in the game, maybe the silent ones that use in code code like infinite spot Hacks or wall hacks but that's it. It's rampant like COD, though I mainly refer to BF3 here. Titian fall is great!

JalalBlack
JalalBlack

I want to laugh , but lately some COD Ghosts player lost their prestige ranks for no reason , and Ghosts is a lag fest in my region

barn79
barn79

I have a friend who was wrongfully banned for no apparent reason. He was playing BF4 and then suddenly, BAM! he was banned for cheating. Then a rep from EA told him to appeal at some Punkbuster website, he asked some of his friends over at origin if Punkbuster would lift the ban, majority of them said that when Punkbuster bans you, you're banned permanently. Huge mistake on EA's part IMHO. And btw, he has a premium accnt of BF4... That's the reason why I haven't touched BF4 for a week now due to that bug that's been banning random players. tsk3.. shame on you EA... As a compensation, they gave him 15% off of Titanfall... =3 EA's service sucks balls....

Dark_Rage
Dark_Rage

Why does EA keep insisting on using faulty, glitchy software?.

terrariafan247
terrariafan247

I've never seen any cheaters on BF3. What platform was it given for free on?

Morgueson
Morgueson

Cheaters who gets caught by PunkBuster are bad cheaters. This news right describe EA very well.

berserker66666
berserker66666

Let's think of it this way. EA did a favor to them by not participating anymore of their atrocious games and policies. Be thankful.

UnrealPro
UnrealPro

I got this game for free on Origin, but now this makes me not want to bother because of the high cheater count from releasing it for free, and this Punkbuster bullshit. I hate aimbotters, laggers, glitchers, modders, bridgers, and stand-byers with a passion, and I would always want to see them fried. But to ban unsuspecting players that did nothing wrong and then tell them there's nothing they can do about it is yet another slap in the face EA and Dice have done to their fans. Guess who won't be getting Hardline after suffering through BF3 and 4 problems? This guy, and many other players fed up with their games being released in broken states, microtransactions, and day one DLC locked on the disk.

Saidrex
Saidrex

I think those bans are legit, since they gave Battlefield 3 for free cheater count raised 500%, now game is almost unplayable, 3 of 5 games have to play against or with cheaters.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

There is not much EA can do about people being banned from their own game? WOW!

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

You know this game we made and we can patch online?  We can't do anything about it (ie. we don't want to).

nameaprice
nameaprice

@Dark_Rage The same reason as ANY s*** f*** american company would, BECAUSE ITS CHEAP!

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@terrariafan247 it was free on Origin, so it's the PC version.

Punkbuster and other anti-cheat software only applies to PC games

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@UnrealPro Welcome to the club I boycotted their games a long time ago. I failed a couple of times, I didn't realise Alice Madness Returned or Kingdom's of Amalur were EA games but you know.

I was never a massive Battlefield fan personally anyway so I wasn't planning on getting Hardline to start with.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@Saidrex  I think you are right.  If you got the game for free, there is no reason to not try cheating. You have nothing to lose.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@Dannystaples14 They aren't banned from Battlefield 4. They are banned from the Punkbuster service. This is the important distinction. Punkbuster is a 3rd party service devs can use to keep up to date anti cheating methods in place without having to deal with it themselves.

NO developer can overturn a punkbuster ban directly. They can tell the punkbuster people to undo your ban, but they can't just toggle it themselves. Thus they are working with punkbuster to iron this out.

 

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@OldDirtyCR Yeah I got that much from the article but the fact EA has no control over that in any way is kind of pathetic. Why would you implement something in your game that you cannot control?

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@AnimeFreaks Yeah but what gets me is EA don't have a say in people who have been wrongfully banned. It is their game and they can't even unban people? Why would you implement this PunkBuster software if you have no authority to override its ruling?

richten71
richten71

@Dannystaples14 @OldDirtyCR Even Balance, most likely, contracts out their service to game developers basically saying they will provide the software, servers, and monitoring of cheaters for a fee. Game developers aren't given access to the Punkbuster servers for the purpose of unbanning players due to the fact that's what they are paying Even Balance to do for them. That way they can move on to their next project instead of having to take part of their resources away from projects like Battlefront 3 or Battlefield 5 because they still have to keep the cheating measures from their older games up to date for the people that are still playing them.

AnimeFreaks
AnimeFreaks

@Dannystaples14 i think what you said isnt accurate. EA probably do have the power to tell punkbuster to unban but thats not what they want to do. They've asked punkbuster to take on the anti-cheat function and they will just manage them at a higher level.