Forget Civil Court, Tencent Is Sending PUBG Cheaters To Prison

We’ve seen a lot of discussion about the morality of Epic Games suing people, including minors, for advertising their cheats in Fortnite, but while court-enforced injunctions may prevent some cheat makers from re-offending, Tencent over in China is taking a different approach; they’re getting law enforcement involved.

According to a report out of Bloomberg, Tencent has assisted Chinese police in taking down more than 120 people in 30 cases involving the creation and distribution of cheats for PUBG and is branching out into its other titles. The individuals under arrest are being charged with violating China’s criminal laws on disrupting computer networks, and unlike Epic Games’ simple injunctions, can and have faced jail times of up to five years as well as massive fines.

“PUBG is going through a puberty of sorts and cheaters threaten to stunt its growth,” said Kim Hak-joon, who analyzes gaming stocks for South Korea’s Kiwoom Securities Co. “Cheaters mostly drive away new users, and without retaining new users, PUBG won’t be able to consolidate its early success and become a long-lasting hit.”

This is not the first case of authorities cracking down on video game crimes. Last year, Jiangsu police arrested a Counter Strike: Global Offensive cheat developer who now faces up to 15 years in prison. In South Korea, a 17 year old was arrested for developing and selling cheats for Overwatch. Over in Japan, police have made use of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law in order to prosecute people creating and selling cheats for video games like Alliance of Valiant Arms and Sudden Attack. In 2014, two men were sentenced to prison in China after scamming people of digital items and selling them for cash.

In some cases, developers are assisting the police in cracking down on criminal offenses, however the police are the entities pressing the actual criminal charges.

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