It’s no fun playing an online multiplayer game when others are cheating to gain an advantage, but still there are countless titles where exploits are considered to be part of the experience. Now, Clash of Clans developer Supercell has announced plans to put its foot down in an effort to encourage fair play.
A new page on the Clash of Clans website states the company’s intention to ‘provide a level playing field for everyone.’ To that end, the use of bots and modding services is being outlawed, with users found to be using such methods from here on out surrendering themselves to the consequences.
Supercell doesn’t give much information on the ramifications of being caught cheating, but the studio’s statement does note that disciplinary action could mean a lifetime ban. It’s likely that this punishment would only be handed out in extreme circumstances, but it demonstrates that the company is serious about making changes.
Clash of Clans is an enormously popular strategy game where players can attack other villages while building and defending their own. As such, it’s ripe with opportunities for cheating — something as simple as gaining access to a few extra units or buildings can throw off the balance of competition.
Since Clash of Clans is a freemium game, one of the most common ways players might break the rules is by purchasing unauthorized currency at reduced rates from hackers. That should illustrate part of why Supercell is so keen to cut down on this sort of behaviour.
Like many mobile games, Clash of Clans relies on addicted players making regular microtransactions to earn its keep. These players are sometimes referred to as ‘whales,’ and represent the portion of the title’s audience that are most likely to part with some real-world cash.
Of course, if they’re paying a third party for an unfair advantage, none of those funds go to Supercell. Similarly, if there are plenty of other players cheating to get ahead, it’s unlikely that these ‘whales’ are going to spend the same amount of money in-game as they would on a level playing field.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Supercell plans to follow up on this decisive statement. Cheating is rife in the Clash of Clans community, and the situation is not going to be cleaned up easily — however, if mobile gaming is going to persist in its current form, it’s crucial that the studios involve figure out how to clamp down on this behaviour.
Clash of Clans is available now on iOS and Android.