Tencent is working with police in China to curb the cheating that currently plagues the PC version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
As reported by Bloomberg, Chinese police have thus far arrested 120 people suspected of creating cheating software for the astronomically popular battle royale game.
Those convicted of disrupting computer networks face five years’ imprisonment or more under Chinese law. In 2010, a couple was fined 3 million yuan and sentenced to nine years in prison for selling cheat software.
Tencent is publishing PUBG in China, and it will officially launch servers there later this year.
According to Steam Spy, more than half of PUBG's 27m players live in China, and since that country has had access to the game, complaints about cheating have skyrocketed.
"PUBG is going through a puberty of sorts and cheaters threaten to stunt its growth,” said South Korea analyst Kim Hak-joon.
"Cheaters mostly drive away new users, and without retaining new users, PUBG won’t be able to consolidate its early success and become a long-lasting hit."
The game's enormous popularity makes it a target for cheaters, said Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad.
"China as a gaming country is very competitive," he said. "There’s a reason why e-sports and pay-to-win is so big there."
Bluehole’s anti-cheat partner, BattlEye, has banned 1.5 million accounts so far for cheating – six percent of the total community.
"Fostering a game environment that’s fair to all players is crucial to us," said Lee Do-hyung, head of operations and services for PUBG Corp.
"We’re committed to working to address this both now and in the future."
Tencent’s Allen Zhang said combatting cheaters was extremely difficult.
"It’s a never-ending battle," he said at a conference in Guangzhou. "You could come up with something effective today, but encounter something completely different the next day."
Tencent is developing two versions of PUBG for mobile, as well as a pair of copycat titles.