BATTLEGROUNDS Developer Responds To Controversial Stream Snipe Ban

Image: Bluehole Inc.

The concept of "stream sniping" as a form of cheating is relatively new and has only grown in notoriety thanks to services such as Twitch and YouTube. Recently a player was banned by PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS developer Bluehole Inc. for doing this exact thing, raising an interesting question: how exactly can it reliably police this kind of misbehaviour or more specifically, how can it know someone is watching a stream for such a purpose?

The game's lead community manager, Sammie Kang, provided some guidance on Friday in an attempt to make the whole situation a little less mysterious:

For team-killing and stream sniping, we require evidence to be submitted as with all reports against players. We do not ban players based on what we see on social media or streaming platforms ourselves. We ask players to submit reports with evidence on our forums which is a temporary measure. We take action when the evidence is sufficient to warrant a ban.

Kang goes on to say that the system is not automated in any way and depends entirely on player reports. As it stands, the system isn't "final" and despite an appeals process being in place, Bluehole admits that it "may not be enough":

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the current system. We don't have an automated system to ban players who violate our Rules of Conduct yet. But in the future, our team will work with the engineering & platform team to implement tools and systems to effectively address the issues that could ruin anyone's experience in the game. We're currently designing the new systems.

Given the game's popularity — and the inevitable flood of false reports — it's no surprise Bluehole is working continually on updating its bans / appeals process. Unfortunately, the pace at which improvements are implemented might not be fast (or good enough) for some.

Regarding the current ban process [PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS]


    Screen watching has been around for ages. I have fond memories doing it with mates at LANS way back in the early 2000s while playing on CS pub servers. This really isn't anything new...

    But if you're a popular streamer, you'll more than likely get the benefit of the doubt...

    To reiterate what I said on the other article about this, it's absurd to me that PUBG globally bans players for team-killing or stream-sniping at all. How many other games do the same for anything less than hacking or persistent/extreme griefing?

    Stream-sniping in particular is not something the devs should concern themselves with policing at all, ever. It's completely external to the game.

      It still doesn't make for an enjoyable game though, one person has an advantage that the other doesn't so it is cheating.

      My biggest concern though is how do you prove it and even still why bother, lots of other things to be concerned with.

        A streamer can simply delay by 10seconds

        If they don't want to for the sake of their audience that's their choice.

        Same for things like hearthstone and other games where seeing the other players screen is an advantage.

        It's absurd when some streamers have a fit and wield their connections to get someone in trouble.

      Its his game. He can set the ban rules. He is under no obligation to have the same set of ban rules as other games.

      Dont like it, Dont play it.

        Oh yeah, he's totally within his rights to set the rules.

        They're still stupid though.

        I'm also going to keep playing, thanks for the advice but!

          I personally love the rules. Especially the ones against stream snipers. I watch several popular streamers. And the 12 year old autistic stream snipers who follow the streamer around and act like an absolute dickhead deserve to be banned.

          Case in point:

            Why do they deserve to be banned?
            Whilst I understand why developers would want to cater to streamers, the creation of protective conduct rules to benefit solely that small group of users seems unfair. More importantly though it seems largely unnecessary. There's numerous ways a streamer could simply avoid giving their position away if they chose to, stream delay being the most simple and obvious.

            A solution for the problem in the video you linked already exists, you just need to mute player chat, or mute the individual player making the noise - it's worth noting that as far as I can tell there would be no repercussions if someone were doing that following/voice chat spam griefing to a non-streamer. So it's not really accurate to classify those rules as rules designed to prevent that kind of behaviour in general.

        By the same token as 'don't like it, don't play it', I'd say the far more valid argument is, "If you don't like people watching your stream to know where you are, maybe don't stream."

          Hit the nail on the head right there. They're voluntarily giving away their position and tactical choices. It hasn't been unfairly put on them, that's their choice. I don't understand why they should be gifted with extra protection to prevent other people taking advantage of that choice.

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