Games giant Blizzard has kicked over 74,000 players from World of Warcraft Classic for cheating.
In a post on the game's website, community manager Randy "Kaivax" Jordan wrote that the developer had closed or suspended more than 74,000 accounts that were violating the title's End-User License Agreement.
Jordan said that the majority of these bans were the result of players cheating but using bots.
"While today’s suspensions were applied in a batch – often referred to as a 'banwave' – it is a top priority for us to identify accounts that are botting and remove them," Jordan wrote.
"Our team works around the clock, every day of the week, and many of the suspensions and account closures over the last few months have gone out in the middle of the night, or on weekends.
"Like you, we play World of Warcraft. We understand what it’s like to spot a player in-game who appears to be botting. We always want to eliminate the botting player, if it can be proved that they are indeed cheating. And that raises a big difficulty in addressing this issue – we have to prove to ourselves that the accused player is not a person who’s actually controlling a character with their hands on a keyboard.
"We use powerful systems to determine if the suspected player is using an identifiable cheat, and our heuristics – which we do not outline publicly – are constantly improving and evolving. But when we examine a suspect and these measurements aren’t out of line, we have to manually gather evidence against the accused player, which can be very time consuming and complex. It’s worthwhile though, because we never want to take action against a legitimate player."
World of Warcraft Classic launched in August 2019 and recreates the state of the iconic MMO as it was back in September 2006. Research firm SuperData reported that World of Warcraft subscription revenue grew by 223 per cent that month due to the launch of Classic. The game's Twitch viewership more-than-doubled during Q3 2019.