The Division will now permaban you for a first offense

June 9, 2016 by Kris Ligman

Taking cues from Rainbow Six: Siege and Blizzard's Overwatch, Ubisoft has announced a new zero tolerance policy for cheaters.

Times are not great for The Division -- nor have they ever been, really. From launch, the massively multiplayer shooter has been plagued with problems from bugs to server issues. Exploits and cheating have run rampant, especially on the game's PC edition. Today, Ubisoft has put its collective foot down and announced it will start banning cheaters from their first offense.

...Well, if you're using third party cheating clients, anyway. There's actually no mention of exploit cheating in the announcement, so perhaps Ubisoft feels it already has a lid on that one, rightly or wrongly.

"Cheating has been a source of frustration for our community as some individuals have been gaining an unfair advantage in the game by using third-party software at the expense of our loyal players," the publisher says in a statement on The Division's official site. "Of course, this doesn’t mean that cheating is a thing of the past and we stand ready to react quickly, should new cheats be developed."

Ubisoft indicates it had already dolled out over 30,000 account moderations -- including 3,800 permanent bans -- in the past month as a result of its improved server checks, which it will continue to refine to keep up with cheaters. After seeing the state of the problem and how dramatically bans improved its game, Ubisoft says it has elected to forego its previous policy of handing down two-week suspensions for a first offense and bumped its punishment straight up to a permaban.

So, now if you happen to buy a copy of The Division, and make the mistake of installing and running a cheating client the same day of your purchase, it might just end up being the fastest $50 you've ever lost. (Give or take, depending on the retailer.) Ubisoft is hoping this will seriously deter cheaters going forward.

Another Ubisoft game -- Rainbow Six: Siege -- enacted a similar policy recently, and both appear to take cues from Blizzard's recent zero-tolerance policy for its team-based shooter Overwatch.

The question is: once you've subtracted the cheaters and all the players lost from months of griefing, patch problems, and server snafus, how many people are even left playing The Division at this point?

(h/t Polygon.)