Battlefield 3 players have been running into some renewed performance issues as of late, ones that are related to the 2011 shooter's third-party anti-cheating software. Over the weekend, EA posted a message on its help website saying that PunkBuster, Battlefield 3's anti-cheating program, was incorrectly marking some players and thus kicking them out of the game's online multiplayer features.
"We are investigating an issue of PunkBuster bans that were incorrectly applied to some of our players," EA said on the Battlefield 3 help page. "Please understand that our game advisors are not able to access or overturn PunkBuster bans, but we're working with our partners at Even Balance to get this resolved as quickly as possible."
EA recommended that Battlefield 3 players effected by the error appeal to Punkbuster directly.
Since online multiplayer is the bread and butter of all Battlefield games, players aren't happy with the news — especially considering that the people still playing Battlefield 3 are such diehard fans and supporters of the game that they still haven't crossed over to the sequel, Battlefield 4. That game has suffered from numerous performance issues since it first launched in late 2013, and it was only last month that EA and developer DICE began to sound like they had managed to fix the thing.
EA ran into a similar problem to the one it's facing now in Battlefield 3 back in 2012 — though that was caused by hackers who chose to show their disdain for PunkBuster by manipulating it to ban innocent players.
Besides saying it is "investigating" the issue, EA didn't say anything about the cause of the current issues with PunkBuster. I've reached out to the company and will update this story once I hear back.
It's worth noting that PunkBuster has gradually been eclipsed by Valve's Anti-Cheat software (VAC) for many popular PC games. For Battlefield 4, EA added another anti-cheating software known as FairFight alongside the PunkBuster. The company went with FairFight for its other major online shooter Titanfall as well.