Since this article’s publication, Wildcard has walked back the ban. We’ve updated with the whole story at the very end.
Not quite a year ago, I wrote a piece about a greyhat hacker who, fed up with Nintendo’s lax action on cheaters in Splatoon 2, took matters into his own hands and hacked the game’s leaderboards with a demand that Nintendo ban the exploiters actively ruining the game. Instead, Nintendo banned him and made him a martyr for the playerbase since so many outlets covered the tale.
A similar story is unfolding right now in the world of ARK Survival Evolved. YouTuber and ARK content creator H.O.D Gaming posted a video exposing multiple years-old ARK bugs on an unofficial, offline server – many of which you’re no doubt familiar with if you follow our own Survivalist column. You can guess what’s coming next: Instead of thanking the YouTuber and fixing the exploits, Studio Wildcard allegedly globally banned him. And yes, the ARK Reddit has his back – here’s just one thread demanding #JusticeForHOD. The thread on /r/gaming itself has over 20,000 ups as I type this.
Wildcard has yet to address the mess, but we’ll update as soon as it does. It’s a bit of a bummer since the studio just yesterday announced classic PvP servers (yes, a game that left early access for launch just a year and a half ago is doing classic servers).
Want more stories on video game company retaliation in recent years? Sadly, there are several: