5,000 Starcraft II cheaters busted

Blizzard mass-issues suspensions and bans to Terms of Use violators for cheating or using hack programs.

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In mid-September, Starcraft II developer Blizzard posted a public warning to players, saying it would soon start issuing bans and suspensions to players caught using hacks or cheating in the real-time strategy game. Today the developer said it followed through on those threats with 5,000 users who violated the Battle.net Terms of Use by resorting to cheats or hacks in Starcraft II.

"Ahh, hell. Performance-enhancing power armor never hurt nobody…"

"In addition to undermining the spirit of fair competition that's essential to play on Battle.net, cheating and hacking can lead to stability and performance issues with the service," the company's statement read. "Maintaining a stable, safe, and secure online-gaming experience for legitimate players is a top priority for us, and we'll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed."

Although significant, the number of punished players pales in comparison to culls conducted on other Battle.net-based Blizzard games over the years. In April, Blizzard suspended or permanently banned 320,000 accounts for Warcraft III and Diablo II. In that case, first-time offenders were given 30-day suspensions, while accounts with prior problems had their CD keys banned permanently. In July 2006, Blizzard booted 59,000 accounts for gold farming in violation of World of Warcraft's Terms of Use.

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