Players caught cheating given limited-time offer of absolution.
Over the last week, more than 30,000 players of the massively multiplayer zombie survival game H1Z1 have been banned from the game for cheating by its developer, Daybreak Game Company. Daybreak's CEO, John Smedley, then extended an opportunity for those banned players to have their accounts reactivated by releasing public apology videos to YouTube.
The bans were issued against users who were employing "ESP" cheats which provide information on other players, including their health and current map location.
In the wake of the bans, Smedley noted on Twitter that he had received many e-mailed apologies from players who had been hit with the banhammer and asking to be allowed back into the game, but that such measures were insufficient in his view. For the company to even consider overturning a ban, according to Smedley, it would require a public apology, on video and published to YouTube, which Smedley would then also post to his Twitter feed. Three such videos have since been posted.
Banned users who decide to submit videos have been encouraged to address their apology to the audience of players (rather than Daybreak itself) and asked to leave out any personally identifying information. Simply submitting a video doesn't guarantee that a ban will be overturned, however, and Smedley has said this is a one-time offer aimed at raising awareness of the issue. Videos will only be accepted until noon Pacific Time today.
H1Z1 became available on PC through Steam Early Access in January. A PlayStation 4 version of the game is expected later this year.