Yesterday, we learned that EA Mythic would be changing their name back to Mythic Entertainment. In that article, I mentioned that we would be revealing three other exclusive pieces of news. Without any further ado:
First, Mark Jacobs, the VP and General Manager of Mythic Entertainment, announced to MMORPG.com that the studio has partnered with well-known anti-cheat company Punkbuster in an effort to make sure that their upcoming RvR game (Warhammer Online) is as free from cheaters, hacks and the like as possible.
“As you know,” said Jacobs in an interview, “we have fought a long battle against hackers, cheaters and other assorted slimeballs who think that it’s both fun and fair for them to have an advantage over other players.”
“We obviously did a lot of things in Dark Age of Camelot that worked,” he continued. “ We banned cheaters whenever we found them. We made a tremendous effort to sort out and deal with hackers and companies or individuals who promote this sort of stuff. Did we do a perfect job? Absolutely not, nobody does, but we did a pretty good job.”
In 2008 though, he said, Warhammer is seeing a much wider distribution than its earlier counterpart and the landscape of MMOs has changed, leading to more and more people who look to cheat. Rather than facing down these cheaters and hackers on their own, Mythic is taking on a partner in Punkbuster, a company with a strong reputation in the online gaming world.
Says the company website:
“Welcome to Even Balance, Inc., home of PunkBuster™, the original Anti-Cheat system for online multiplayer games. We daily battle the selfish little punks who want to ruin your favorite online games and the hack-writers who supply them with cheats. Our goal is to keep the playing field as even as possible so that PunkBuster-enabled games are played the way they were meant to be played.”
The company currently supports such games as: the Battlefield franchise, the Call of Duty franchise, the Quake franchise, the Rainbow Six franchise and others, but Warhammer Online will be their first forray into the realm of the MMORPG.
“We think this is a huge win for the players,” said Jacobs of the partnership. “We are an RvR-centric game and anything that gives a player an advantage over another player in an RvR-centric game is a very bad thing. We take this stuff incredibly seriously, our history shows that. We wanted, by doing this deal with Punkbuster, to show the players that we’re willing to go an extra step for them.”
Jacobs went on to say that they want their players to have the best RvR experience possible, and that no matter how good they are as a company at resolving issues to do with hackers and cheaters, there will always be someone better out there who wants to get past it. That is why Mythic is going to both the effort and expense of gaining an ally in the fight.
The technology, we are told, has already been implemented into the game’s beta, though it hasn’t yet been activated. They will work with Punkbuster throughout the beta process to be sure that the technology is working properly. If not, Jacobs says, the technology can be easily turned on and off without hurting gameplay.
“The key is a great RvR experience,” said Jacobs, “and this is important to know: We’re going to continue our own efforts as well. If we were to just rely on them, that would also be a mistake. It’s not that they’re not good at what they do. They are. But we’re here every day, working on the code, so by having the combination, if we have to disable it for any reason or if they miss something or if we miss something, we’ve got a second set of eyes.”
Continued on Page Two