Fall Guys is by far the biggest summer hit in the video games world.
A small indie game coming from Mediatonic, a studio previously known mostly for web games, quickly became a huge commercial success, and it has been garnishing praise from both fans and critics alike.
The game has become the most downloaded monthly PS Plus game of all time, and it has sold over 7 million copies on Steam in less than a month since the release.
The overwhelming popularity of the game at first caught the British studio off guard, but they quickly adapted to this new situation and are working smart to capitalise on it, with the announcement of Fall Guys Season 2, and other things.
The big popularity comes with a lot of positive things, but naturally some not so desirable as well.
The rule as old as competitive games - if something is popular, there will be cheaters playing it. And with Fall Guys it's no different.
The Fall Guys Twitter account shared a story today which they kept secret for some time. It's a story about their secret efforts to deal with the cheaters.
After we confirmed that it was working - We secretly launched— Fall Guys 👑 (@FallGuysGame) September 14, 2020
Fall Guys Cheater Island™
It was a magical place where cheaters could happily compete against themselves for the Cheater's Crown*
*Literally just a normal crown but tainted with a hollow feeling of guilt and regret
What is the Fall Guys anti-cheat system?
They explained that at launch, they had some of their own cheat detection built into the game, but they weren't banning anyone, they just used it to collect data.
They wanted to be 100% sure they are only catching the real cheaters, and that the system won't falsy flag someone who is not a cheater.
And when they were 100% sure that is works as it should, they secretly launched what they call "Fall Guys Cheater Island".
It's basically a separate matchmaking server only for cheaters, and their threshold was originally really tolerant - they were catching cheaters, but they did nothing in order not to alarm them.
And then they slowly started lowering the threshold until the population of cheaters slowly started to rise, because you need 40+ players to populate a game, and Cheater Island has its own set of global servers.
The problem was that if there were not enough cheaters for the match, the cheaters would just be falling forever and so cheaters started reporting that their game was "broken", but in reality, they were on Cheater Island.
Soon, cheaters realised that with family-sharing they can share their game with another account which can be used to bypass Cheater Island, and so developers disabled Family-Sharing to fix this issue.
The potential population of Cheater Island finally grew big enough for Cheater Island matches to happen, and developers think some of the videos people started sharing are actually from Cheater Island matches.
Somebody actually uploaded this video to Reddit with the title:— Fall Guys 👑 (@FallGuysGame) September 14, 2020
"Ever played a round of Fall Mountain where all the players are cheating?"
The problem is... this LOOKS like Cheater Island but we can't be 100% sure pic.twitter.com/byJi6r0Ykc
Developers say that they do know that Cheater Island matches were happening, but they don't know for sure if that's what they see in some of the videos shared around in the last couple of days.
And for that reason, they've decided to shutdown Cheater Island servers for now, and simply prevent all cheaters from logging in.
Their next step in the battle against cheaters is a partnership with Epic Games - they are adding Epic's Anti-Cheat system, which they say will be "a huge step forward as we continue to improve things."