On Thursday, we took action against 1,630 player accounts that we identified as having violated MARVEL Strike Force’s terms of service. We take the integrity of the game seriously, and banning accounts found to be in violation of our ToS is something that we do frequently. Unfortunately, with this week’s most recent ban action, we incorrectly identified 154 player accounts and inadvertently banned players who did nothing wrong. Upon realizing our mistake this morning, those players had their accounts immediately reinstated.
To those players, we apologize deeply for our mistake and the inconvenience our oversight has caused you.
In an effort to protect our ability to detect these violations, we tend to talk about cheating and the action we take against it in vague terms. However, given this week’s error, it’s appropriate for us to be more transparent around this specific incident.
The violations in questions involved the use of a third-party app to bypass the normal course of combat in recent weeks, giving those accounts an advantage that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Unrelated, one of our database providers experienced excessive load in a specific period during the same window, creating a discrepancy in a variety of our logs, including -- unbeknown to us at the same time we performed these most recent bans -- those we use for combat validation. Because of this discrepancy, 154 players out of the total 1,630 flagged accounts had logs that appeared to fail their combat validation, when in reality they hadn’t, and were incorrectly banned.
Again, we understand that this is a terrible misstep on our part, and we’ll be using this week’s incident to make our cheat detection even more robust to mitigate something like this happening again. We have since patched our detection system to prevent incorrectly flagged accounts in these situations. We will also continue to add more robust data, which will provide us with more information, angles, and time to perform holistic analysis and investigate individual examples.
In the meantime, we’ll be reaching out to the incorrectly affected players early next week and making it right with them throughout the course of the following days.
Thank you as ever for your loyalty and support, even when we’re imperfect.