PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is kinda... popular. In other news, the sky is also blue, and water is wet. But obvious as that first statement may be, the second and third points don't come with millions of cheaters trying to take advantage.
Cheating is a big problem for PUBG, and every month is banning more and more players, and more and more of those players are coming from China. In fact, just last week we found out how deep that cheating culture goes, and why it's seen as so acceptable to HAX your way to a win.
Long story short - the fix is in big time, even with big-name hardware vendors.
My colleague Ben Mansill was in Beijing last week for Intel's big reveal of its new 8th gen processors, and alongside the chip release, a lot of laptop and PC makers were also on hand to spruik their goods. Dell was a big part of the dog and pony show, and a big part of the company's spiel was how many more 'plug-ins' you could run.
Plug-ins. Also known as cheats.
Here's a bit more of what Dell spokeperson Sally Zhang had to say about how to win more chicken dinners:
She spoke of how Chinese gamers are the most innovative and dominant in the world by using "plugins" to, for example, run faster than other players, or blow up ten cars at a time, and that these top gamers can really use 8th-Gen power to "run more plugins to win more at Chicken Dinner", and that the top players run the most 'plugins' so that's where 8th-gen Dell power gives them the gamer's edge. Behind her a video proudly shows various cheats in PUBG in action (they really like the one with the massively oversized gun and show that a lot), with the new Dell gaming laptops shown every few seconds while Sally told us that gamers should buy a Dell because they're better at running many plugins. Wow.
That is... pretty fucking blatant. Dell is pretty much telling players to ignore Bluehole's terms of service and cheat away in order to win. It's normalising behaviour that ruins the game for everyone else, and forces the developer and its anti-cheat partners to invest in combing the game for more cheaters rather than work on the game itself, an effort that must come with a significant cost.
It's just tacky, Dell. Please stop it.
EDIT: Dell has gotten back to us with an official comment, and it is worth reading.
EDIT: More than a few folks are wanting a bit more corroboration on this one. We don't have any pics ourselves - Ben was very much not expecting anything so blatant, and this was only part of the larger 8th gen launch event he attended - but we do have this Japanese site, which has photos from the event. Note - Ben got Dell PR to confirm the spokesperson's name, but the name offered was different to that in these photographs, so it's likely an issue of translation.