Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 and an Apology

July 27, 2010 -

If you were one of the many Modern Warfare 2 players on Steam who received an erroneous message that you were using a cheat and were suddenly banned, then you will be happy to hear that you are now entitled to a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2. The erroneously banned accounts, the result of a glitch related to Valve's Punk Buster anti-cheating software, have been made whole again and company president Gabe Newell has sent an apology letter to all of those affected.

In that apology letter, Newell told the 12,000 some-odd banned account holders that it was Valve's mistake and the he was sorry for the frustration it caused players. He went on to explain what happened on Valve's end to cause this error in the first place:

"The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version," he said. "This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game."

Newell also clarified that the error wasn't something restricted to Modern Warfare 2, and that Steam is setup in a way that allows Valve to identify and reverse erroneous bans.

In closing he told account holders affected by the bans that - if they didn't already own it - they were entitled to a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 via Steam. Culpability aside, it was nice of Valve to admit its mistake and offer a small bit of compensation to those that suffered a ban.

Source: Ars Technica

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Comments

Re: Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 ...

Bit of a correction to your story: PunkBuster is neither written nor owned by Valve. Even Balance is the name of the company behind that bit of coding. What Valve uses (and what, based off my attempts at research, is what got tripped up in MW2) is its own in-house method called VAC, or Valve Anti-Cheat.

Re: Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 ...

Ahhhh DRM, making friends wherever it's implemented.

At least Valve/Steam here acts responsibly. Well done Valve, at least you realize that you have incovienenced your customer and are applying proper restitution in the form of a free Valve game.

Now just imagine if this were Ubisoft? There would be no free game and somehow they would tell you its your own fault. Knowing Ubi there might have even been a rootkit.

Re: Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 ...

 This was a problem with the anti cheat software, not DRM.

Re: Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 ...

While I despise most things Ubisoft has done lately, they did, if memory serves, give free copies of Assassin's Creed 2 and AC2 DLC to people who had issues with their misguided always online scheme. Of course, it's like selling you a turd that doesn't work, then giving you polishing equipment as restitution.

Re: Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 ...

You are correct of course, and you are again right that Ubi thanked you with more DRM of the same ilk in those games they offered. Well spoken.

Re: Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 ...

This type of PR will probably pay for itself pretty quickly.  The strange thing about customers with a positive view of a service.. they tend to spend money on it and tell others that they had a good experince.

Re: Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 ...

Now THAT'S service.

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