Valve Bans Modern Warfare Players By Mistake, Apologises With Free Left 4 Dead 2

Were you wrongfully accused of cheating and summarily banned from the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 recently? You weren't the only one. Valve's anti-cheat software goofed and they're offering free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 as an apology.

Many players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were surprised to find their Steam accounts banned this past weekend by Valve's anti-cheat software, more succinctly known as VAC. Valve president Gabe Newell says that was a mistake and offered an apology to those affected.

In addition to restoring players' access to the game, Valve is giving players a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 and one to gift to a friend, along with an explanation.

Read Newell's message to Modern Warfare 2 players below and take comfort in the fact that you totally did nothing wrong and you're not crazy.


Recently, your Steam account was erroneously banned from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

This was our mistake, and I apologize for any frustration or angst it may have caused you.

The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. 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. Steam allows us to manage and reverse these erroneous bans (about 12,000 erroneous bans over two weeks).

We have reversed the ban, restoring your access to the game. In addition, we have given you a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to give as a gift on Steam, plus a free copy for yourself if you didn't already own the game.

To share your extra copy of Left 4 Dead 2 with a friend, you can 'Manage Gifts and Guest Passes' from the 'Games' Menu in Steam, or visit this article on the Steam Support site for detailed instructions:

To access your own copy of Left 4 Dead 2, visit your library of games in Steam. If you didn't already own the game, it will now be listed among your others there, and is available for download immediately.

Regards, Gabe Newell President, Valve


    Yet another reason as to why Valve is awesome. They actually apologised and gave away a game to prove it. Respect.



    I wish I could be temporarily banned from a game for two weeks and receive two free copies of a good game as an apology :(

      yeah but you'd still have to use the bloody aus version lol

        Playing with the non-Aus version is as simple as editing a few text files. I bought a copy of L4D2 during the last Steam sale and my friend and I were playing uncensored pretty much straight away.

          i was told that if i did that i wouldn't be able to play it on steam though...

            You can't play online on the official servers if you do do that, so really there's no point in editing the files. If you want uncensored buy the American version.

              Unless of course you only play with friends and someone hosts.. oh wait, that's what we already do.

    What about the people that already have L4D2 and all their friends have it? I wasn't banned, but that is the case with me.

      I'll take it :)

        I'd give it to you, but as I said, I wasn't banned, so aren't getting it.

    Now, If we were given the uncensored version, this might make up for it, but no dice.

    This is hilarious. I was banned last week and sent valve a complaint letter to which they merely replied "your ban is confirmed and irreversible". Thanks to your post I checked my junk mail folder and found this email! Free L4d2 here I come!

    I love the fact that they have admitted a mistake, apologised, AND offered up to two free copies of a game.

    <3 Valve

    LOL At all these valve fanboys. Valve messed up in the first place. If their anti-cheat system is this bad that it mistakenly bans innocent people then whats to say the ones who do cheat are even getting banned. Seriously Valve, do a better job in the first place instead of kissing ass.


      Er... "LOL" at you.
      I don't think anyone here's saying Valve didn't make a mistake, we're just impressed at how well they're making up for it. I've never heard of a game companies give away 2 full-priced games away as free to thousands upon thousands of people, they usually make a half-assed apology or give away 1 game that costs only $5 anyway. To give away nearly $100 worth of games to that many people is admirable.

        Exactly.. the cost of distribution of a steam game is close to FA..

        Valve admits their mistake and smooths it over for 12,000 people at a fraction of the cost any other developer could do it for..

        Also, of those 12k people (or 24k with the gift copy too) those who were going to would likely have already bought the game if they were ever going to. This way Valve will loose minimal sales and could potentially actually pick up a sale or two if friends of these people decide to buy it to play with the players who got it for free.

        On top of that they get a tonne of good PR out of it. Fanboy or not you've got to admit its a pretty smart move.

        And Techa, maybe your comment would be justified if this was a regular VAC occurrence, but as far as I remember this is maybe only the 2nd time VAC has caused unjustified bans. Not a bad record for an anti-cheat system that's been in place for 6ish years.

    can i pleaseee have someones other copy?? like pleaseeee?

    Still waiting for all the aim-bots & stat hackers to be removed. I seem see at least one every 5-10 games, and it is soo annoying.
    I was beginning to think VAC was merely a placebo.

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