Hey Internet people, did you know that Microsoft makes video games? Okay, you’re probably aware of the various incarnations of the Xbox, yes. But long before the Xbox, Microsoft was a video game publisher for the PC…and still is! It even has its own distribution platform, which is the rather terrible Windows Store.
The point here is that Microsoft is very much aware of the lucrative PC gaming market, and they’d really appreciate it if you thought of the Windows Store as an alternative to Steam. It’s not, not even close, but they’d like it to be. And now they’ve introduced a new anti-cheat system, which they call TruePlay to go with their store that no one wants to use.
What Is Anti-Cheat Software?
If you have a multiplayer game, you need some kind of protection against cheaters. Cheaters are inevitable if you get any amount of active player base, and if you don’t at least attempt to quell the naughtiness, all your law-abiding players are going to leave for some other game where they don’t keep getting killed by jerks.
Developers often don’t have the resources or expertise to to detect and track cheaters in addition to their regular development and upkeep duties. So now there are pre-built anti-cheating systems that they can incorporate into their games…sort of like a game engine that only does one thing. The most popular is probably Valve’s Anti-Cheat (VAC) that’s integrated with Steam itself. In addition to detecting cheaters, VAC tracks them across servers and multiple games, allowing developers options for bans and blocks of all kinds. Most of the commercial alternatives have similar options.
Some multiplayer game developers still maintain their own anti-cheat systems, but VAC and its alternatives are so extensive and economical that they’re often used just to save time and money. For example, Activision uses…
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