Cheating in an online game can result in account ban and this fate was experienced by over 40,000 users on Steam last week. In an unprecedented manner, Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) system is said have banned 40,411 Steam accounts on July 6, just a day after the conclusion of Steam Summer Sale. To give an fair idea of this number, the previous record high for account bans was 15,225, which was registered in October last year.
If you are wondering whether this is a co-incidence, there is a good chance that it is not. As part of Steam Summer Sale, several games including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 were available at cheaper rates and the cheaters tend to purchase the games on different accounts at their lower-than-usual prices, as pointed out in a report by Dot Esports.
Though VAC usually detects and bans around 3,000-4,000 accounts on a daily basis, the system flagged off 30,000 bans by 12pm ET itself on July 6. Additionally, 4,972 accounts got banned due to in-game reports and this brought the total value of lost skins and other digital items to a $9,580, as pointed out in a report by Kotaku.
Online cheating is not a new thing and it is almost impossible that it would stop anytime soon but this move from Valve might send across a strong message to all those users who fail to play by the rules. Even if this incident makes the cheaters think twice the next time around before indulging in this practice, Valve can give itself a pat on the back.