Valve Unbans 12,000 Modern Warfare 2 Players

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Published by 9 years ago , last updated 11 months ago

Posted on July 27, 2010, Ron Whitaker Valve Unbans 12,000 Modern Warfare 2 Players

Over the past week, around 12,000 players found themselves banned from Modern Warfare 2 thank to Steam’s VAC system. These players were emailing Valve, posting in forums, and probably even sending smoke signals protesting their innocence.

Normally, when you hear someone protesting a ban from a game for cheating, your first reaction is something along the lines of, “Yeah, sure. You’re innocent. Riiiight.” It turns out in this case that they actually were innocent. Go figure!

Due to a Steam issue, the Valve Anti-Cheat system was receiving false positives from some players. The issue has been addressed, and Gabe Newell, President of Valve Software, has sent an apology to those affected. He’s also sent something else as well: zombies!

In a move that demonstrates how a developer should handle a situation like this, Valve has given a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to each player who was mistakenly banned. That’s a pretty good way to turn a bunch of fail into a PR win in a hurry. Once again, Valve demonstrates why many gamers feel they are at the top of the list when it come to developers.

Here’s the email that those being unbanned received:


Recently, your Steam account was erroneously banned from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you.

The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game. This wasn’t a game-specific mistake. Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks).

We have reversed the ban, restoring your access to the game. In addition, we have given you a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to give as a gift on Steam, plus a free copy for yourself if you didn’t already own the game.

To share your extra copy of Left 4 Dead 2 with a friend, you can ‘Manage Gifts and Guest Passes’ from the ‘Games’ Menu in Steam, or visit this article on the Steam Support site for detailed instructions:…4502-TPJL-2656.

To access your own copy of Left 4 Dead 2, visit your library of games in Steam. If you didn’t already own the game, it will now be listed among your others there, and is available for download immediately.

Gabe Newell
President, Valve

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