The Chinese Police joined forces with tech giant Tencent to halt the operation of what’s believed to be the “world’s biggest” video game ring. During the bust, the police apprehended $46 million worth of assets, including numerous sports and luxury cars.
Cheating has been part of gaming for as long as games have existed. Cheating on single player games usually doesn’t affect others and can even be seen as a feature or “easter egg,” unless you’re trying to break a speedrun record in a competition. As for online games, even if not playing professionally, the gaming experience of non-cheaters will probably be rather unpleasant and that’s where most of the issues arise. Not to mention, many of today’s most popular games are riddled with microtransactions and in the worst of cases, pay-to-win type of schemes.
The investigation started over a year ago, in March 2020, when Tencent reported the group “Chicken Drumstick” to the authorities. A year later, on March 26th, the Kunshan police held a conference announcing the bust of the “world’s biggest” video game cheating operation.
As per the Anti-Cheat Police Department, the group was making around $10,000 a day by selling aimbots, wall-hacks, and other cheats to gamers around the globe, though mostly in China. Considering they earned a total of $764 million before shutting down, cheat coding sure looks like a profitable business.
During the investigation, the Kunshan police raided various places, closing down 17 websites and arresting 10 resellers. Moreover, the police also apprehended $20 million worth of cars from one individual and $26 million in assets from another.
The subscription service offered by the group cost between $1.50 a day, up to $26 a month. Mobile third-person shooters were the major focus, but as Dexerto reports, there were also cheats and hacks for titles like Overwatch and Valorant.
As for why this is probably the “biggest game cheating provider bust ever,” authorities stated three main reasons: the money involved, the games affected by the cheating group, and the sheer number of users.