I never really noticed a strong resemblance between John Smedley, Sony Online Entertainment's CEO, and Liam Neeson before, but Smedley seemed like he was doing his best to channel the Taken star on his Twitter page today as he vowed to hunt down hackers and their families. Sony has been taking an aggressive posture towards dealing with cheaters in Planetside 2, though Smedley's tweets today are certainly the strongest language yet deployed against aimbotters and their ilk to date. Not content simply with vowing revenge upon the perpetrators, Smedley called out specific hackers by name and announced their bans, saying that he believed cheaters in competitive online games were “scumbags,” which is not a label that I think the gaming community in general would disagree with.
Planetside 2 seems to be flourishing, but at only a month after launch, it is much too early to call it an unqualified success. The original Planetside's flirtation with a Free-to-Play option was initially quite successful as well, but the free “Planetside Reserves” program was eventually withdrawn due to the unfortunate combination of free accounts and rampant hacking. Back in the day, a Planetside hacker would, if caught and banned, just make another account and go right back to work cheating.
With this historical spectre looming over Planetside 2, it is no surprise that Sony is coming out swinging. Reports from various servers have made it clear that speedhacks and aimbots are currently making the rounds, and it is easy to see how legitimate players could be discouraged from buying weapons and so forth if they are consistently getting killed at four hundred meters by a hacker using an aimbot and a default weapon. Fiercely suppressing hackers this early in Planetside 2' existence will be vital to the game's financial success. We at TMDC wish Sony the best of luck.