Valve Apologises for Wrongful Modern Warfare 2 Bans

By Alice O'Connor, Jul 27, 2010 7:10am PDT

Steam proprietor Valve Software has apologised after its cheat-detection software banned over twelve thousand innocent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 players.

Non-cheating gamers were flagged as cheaters by a mistake with the Valve Anti-Cheat feature of Valve's Steamworks suite, which Modern Warfare 2 uses. "The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version," Valve president Gabe Newell wrote in an e-mail to the victims.

"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," he explained. "Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks)."

"This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you," wrote Newell. Valve has granted those mistakenly banned a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to gift to a chum plus a free copy for themselves if they didn't already own it.

Thanks to the many, many people who sent in tips on the subject.

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252 Threads | 489 Comments

  • 1. I cannot play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 because its showing Cheat Detected, I didn't cheat, same message as last time what happened some time ago? 20000 bans that weren't hackers. I was one of the person and my friends too. one of the 12.000 mistakenly banned players by VAC. You got unbanned and 2 free copies of L4D2.
    Please let me know. A.S.A.P Thank you.

    2. Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

    Our system indicates that this account has been permanently banned by the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) from Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer for use of cheats or other unauthorized modifications to the game (such as a console unlocked, etc.).

    We will not disclose the cheats which were detected, nor will we provide the date and time the infraction took place. We have confirmed that the ban on the account was applied legitimately and it cannot be removed.

    This ban does not affect other titles on the account.

    The account may still be used to play the single-player campaign and Spec Ops missions.

    We cannot move game subscriptions from accounts which have been banned by VAC.

    If you choose to purchase a new copy of this game, please create a new Steam account to register the game to. Remove all cheats from your system before you install (if you do not know where the cheats were installed, you may want to consider reformatting the machine and starting over with a new installation of your operating system).

    For more information on Valve's policies, please see the Steam Subscriber Agreement and the Rules of Steam Online Conduct:

    3.Please check your company system again.

    You might have to check your system again.

    I bought this new copy after your company made a mistake banning 12,000
    people who was not cheating.

    I was one of the person who got banned for your mistake, I don't cheat I
    don't believe in cheating.

    I have this account to my friend because I had two copies of same game
    because of your company mistake.

    Thank you.

    4. I understand your frustration in this matter; however, our system has confirmed that the ban was applied legitimately. A VAC ban applies to the game(s) regardless of who was using the account at the time.

    It does not matter if you let someone use the account, or if the account was being used without your knowledge. It is your responsibility to safeguard your account against such activities.

    I am sorry, the VAC ban on the game(s) will not be removed.

    Please refer to the Steam Subscriber Agreement and the Rules of Steam Online Conduct if you wish to review our policy regarding this matter.