Outriders developer People Can Fly will use some rather novel methods to combat cheating when the online multiplayer shooter launches in April this year.
The studio said that around 200 of the 2 million players that dipped into the recent demo "clearly cheated," and while that's a pretty small number -- 0.01 percent of players, to be exact -- the company has pledged to come down hard on miscreants.
For starters, those caught cheating will be unable to matchmake with legitimate players, presumably forcing them to play with other troublemakers.
Cheaters will also find that matchmaking takes significantly longer (although solo play will still be a viable option), and their HUD will be branded with a "discreet but visible watermark" informing the world of their past transgressions whenver they share gameplay. What's more, those sanctions will be implemented account wide, preventing players from slipping away by switching characters.
"Since demo launch this has been a hotly debated topic, so we wanted to provide some perspective on it as well as outline our policy regarding cheating and hacking going forward," said the studio in a post on Steam.
"All accounts will be checked for evidence of cheat use on launch day -- April 1st, and then at regular intervals thereafter. Any account logs found to have evidence of cheating on them on or after launch day will be permanently branded.
"If you cheated during the demo 'just to try it out' but wish to go into the main game unbranded, you must delete all characters and items on your entire account in order to wipe the slate clean. You should not carry over any progress between demo and main game if you previously cheated but do not plan to do so in the main game."
For the record, People Can Fly also outlined what it considers cheating -- including running the game without Easy Anti Cheat software on PC, modifying game files to enhance characters, using performance tweaking software and more -- so ignorance won't be a viable defence come launch day.