Embark Studios, the developer behind the free-to-play shooter game The Finals, recently encountered a wave of criticism after implementing a ban wave to address rampant cheating within the game. Despite the intention to target cheaters, it seems that some innocent players have also been affected by these bans. This unexpected consequence has given rise to backlash and dissatisfaction within the player community.

The ban wave, initiated by Embark Studios, aimed to eradicate cheating instances in The Finals. However, reports emerged that many players who were not engaged in any form of cheating found themselves unjustly banned from the game. Journalist Tom Warren shed light on this issue, revealing that even renowned Twitch streamers were affected. Such claims were supported by streamer PRX Jinggg, who shared a notification screen indicating a ban due to “certain behavior” in violation of the game’s Code of Conduct. Distressingly, numerous players took to Twitter to express their frustration, sharing similar experiences of being wrongfully banned.

Among the victims of the ban wave was Twitter user Viscose, who went the extra mile to provide a compelling gameplay clip as evidence of their innocence. This recording showcased top-down footage of their mouse movements, intending to demonstrate that cheating had not taken place. Thankfully, Viscose’s ban was eventually revoked after a few hours. While this may offer some relief to affected players, it raises concerns about the accuracy and impact of Embark Studios’ ban system. Erroneously banning innocent players can lead to reputational damage for both the developer and the game itself.

It is worth noting that Embark Studios promptly responded to the backlash and took measures to rectify the situation. The developer began retracting false bans, acknowledging the unjust treatment innocent players had endured. This swift action demonstrates the studio’s commitment to addressing player complaints and maintaining a fair gaming environment. However, it remains crucial for Embark Studios to thoroughly assess their ban system to prevent such unfortunate incidents in the future.

Despite the controversy surrounding the recent ban wave, The Finals experienced significant success upon its release. Within a mere 15 days, the game garnered a staggering 10 million players, a testament to its popularity and appeal. Furthermore, players have been showcasing their ingenuity by creating unique and inventive builds within the game. Notably, one player devised a cheater-killing machine by cleverly integrating a turret into a plant pot. These examples of creative gameplay highlight the potential of The Finals and the enjoyment it offers to its vast player base.

Embark Studios’ ban wave in The Finals aimed to combat cheating but inadvertently affected innocent players, sparking widespread frustration and backlash. While the developer has taken steps to address these false bans, the incident raises concerns about the accuracy and effectiveness of their ban system. The success of The Finals should not be overshadowed, as the game has attracted a significant player base and inspired inventive gameplay. Moving forward, it is essential for Embark Studios to implement more stringent measures to prevent innocent players from falling victim to erroneous bans, ensuring a fair and enjoyable gaming experience for all.


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