ONLINE GAMING OUTFIT Steam might be looking a bit hollow right now after thousands of players were banned last week following the firm's summer sale.
The spike in banhammer whackdowns can be seen on VAC-BAN, a site that tracks this kind of thing, and shows that across a couple of days more than a few thousand accounts went dark. There is no commentary on VAC-BAN, though we should tell you that VAC stands for Valve Anti-Cheat.
On a typical day the hammer drops on around 3,000 people, but on 6 July, the last day of the Steam sale, around 40,000 got a crack on the head. There is an annual cull around sale time, but last years was around a third of 2017s.
If a user wants to have this VAC ban removed then they have to turn to Steam - the two things are not affiliated. Steam says that the bans are permanent.
"VAC bans are permanent, non-negotiable, and cannot be removed by Steam Support," says the firm's official FAQ.
"If a VAC ban is determined to have been issued incorrectly, it will automatically be removed." Users can appeal this, but hey ho, they can still play some games anyway. "VAC banned accounts can still play single-player games, local LAN games, and multiplayer on non VAC-secured game servers," adds the FAQ.
"To find non VAC-secured servers, from the Steam main menu click on View, select Servers, then select Not secure in the Anti-cheat dropdown." Obviously, top tier games are not an option for cheaters, but then they probably knew that already.
Steam is very unsympathetic towards cheats, and it makes it very clear in its FAQ that cheats don't prosper.
"Regardless of who was using the account at the time, VAC bans are permanent and will not be removed," it explains as the FAQ smashes down another potential excuse.
"While we understand this can be frustrating, we must maintain a zero tolerance policy for cheating to foster a fair game that all players will enjoy." µ
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