Call of Duty: World at War developer Treyarch is taking a hard line with console modders, warning that anyone caught playing with hacked or modded hardware faces a "complete ban" from their online services.
In a message posted at the World at War Headquarters, Treyarch wrote that its most recent title update addressed a number of issues caused by people using hacked systems that were "disrupting the online experience for everybody else." But they're not stopping there, apparently; the studio also laid out a stern warning to anyone considering playing the game with modded hardware.
"Treyarch has adopted a zero tolerance policy towards console hackers / modders. We are actively working with our console partners (Microsoft and Sony) to take action against all proven offenders, up to and including a complete ban from all of their online services," the message says. "Our number one priority is to protect the experience of our online gaming community (most of you reading this message), and the efforts of console hackers / modders directly target the community in a negative way."
The company also has some advice for anyone interested in messing with the game for "legitimate" purposes: Get the PC version. "We understand that a primary motivation in hacking / modding is to bring something 'fresh' or 'new' to the game," the message says. "That is why the PC platform has a full suite of Mapping / Modding tools, along with plenty of documentation to go along with it. If you are interested in the technical aspect of game modding, check out the PC version of CoD:WaW, where modding is legal, fully supported, and encouraged."
"For those of you that are currently modding or are considering modding your console, this message should serve as a warning," it continues. "For those of you looking to enjoy a safe and fun online experience, please be reassured by it - console hacking is illegal, and will not be tolerated."
The suggestion to switch to the PC version of the game is an interesting one and I think it's the first time I've never heard a developer say such a thing. There's no question that PC games are more hackable, so in the end I suppose it comes down to intent: Do you want to create something new and fun, or just jerk people around?
Whichever it is: You've been warned!