New Irdeto Global Survey Finds Widespread Cheating in Multiplayer Online Games Frustrates Consumers
More than half of gamers have had their multiplayer gaming experience negatively impacted by other players cheating on multiple occasions, according to a new Irdeto report.
The Irdeto Global Gaming Survey also indicated that these online gamers will purchase less in-game content and even stop playing the game in question, if they feel that other players are gaining an unfair advantage through cheating. Cheating in these games often involves manipulating and distorting data or code to gain an advantage over others or bypass in-game transactions.
Of the consumers surveyed online across six different countries, including China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US, 77% of online gamers are likely to stop playing a multiplayer game online if they think other players are cheating and 48% of online gamers are likely to buy less in-game content as a result. This suggests a massive impact on the revenues of game publishers if they do not adequately protect multiplayer online games from cheating.
Surprisingly, the survey also found that only 12% of online gamers who play multiplayer games have never had their multiplayer gaming experience negatively impacted by other players cheating, while 8% said that it was always impacted. Millennials are most aware of the impact of cheating, with 12% of 18 to 24-year-olds globally stating their experience is always negatively impacted and only 7% of this age group who play multiplayer games stating that they are never impacted by other players cheating. It is therefore unsurprising that the survey also found that 76% of online gamers felt that it was important that multiplayer games online are secured against other players gaining an unfair advantage through cheating.
“These results clearly indicate that cheating in multiplayer online games is a growing problem,” says Reinhard Blaukovitsch, Managing Director of Denuvo, Irdeto. “Furthermore, the global nature of these games means that it doesn’t matter where the cheating is taking place, as it has the potential to negatively impact other gamers around the world, and this sets a big challenge for game publishers,”
“If cheaters are allowed to prosper, the impact on other players can subsequently lead to lower game traffic and shrinking revenues,” says Elmar Fischer, Sales Director of Denuvo, Irdeto. “It is therefore crucial for game publishers to secure their games against cheating to ensure a great experience for gamers all over the world who want to play by the rules.”
Despite the negative experiences that many gamers are having and the subsequent impact on the industry, cheating is still rife in multiplayer online games. The survey indicates that some gamers place their own experience and desire to win above all else. While 57% of gamers globally stated they have never used third-party tools to cheat in multiplayer games online, a substantial proportion of 12% admitted to being cheaters: regularly taking action including modifying game files and/or using hardware tools to cheat. This suggests that there appears to be an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude among some gamers who will take action to fight back against cheaters, even if that means cheating themselves.
“Gamers across the globe clearly feel that they are not being sufficiently protected against cheating and malicious plugins. This leads to a vicious cycle where one in eight gamers feel forced to cheat.” says Rory O’Connor, Senior Vice President of Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto. “Game publishers should implement security strategies which prevent hackers in multiplayer games from manipulating and distorting data or code to gain an advantage over other gamers or bypass in-game transactions. The brands that put the protections in place that gamers want will surely prevail in an increasingly competitive online gaming sector.”
Cheating on gaming platforms can distort virtual in-game economies and can be used to manipulate or bypass in-game micro-transactions. Denuvo’s anti-cheat technology prevents hackers in multiplayer games from manipulating and distorting data and code to gain an advantage over other gamers or bypass in-game microtransactions. This prevents dilution of the value of the game for the user and the game studio.