H1Z1 might sound like a space ketchup, but it’s an open-world crafting MMO with zombies, because there aren’t enough of those right now. And like every massively multiplayer game that has ever been released, players instantly found exploits, cheats, and loopholes. They were shooting through walls, becoming invincible, and getting unlimited ammo — which made it decidedly unfun for the people not doing that.
Unsurprisingly, the developers banned everyone using these exploits (it was faster than fixing them). In total, 30,000 players were banned, which means their community manager was deadlier to the world’s population than all the zombies put together. Some of the players obviously wanted to come back, and the head developer took to Twitter to say he would let them play again on one condition:
Yep, all you have to do is just say sorry and you’ll be let back in. And, for some reason, it had to be a video apology — everyone knows email apologies can be faked. It seems needlessly complicated, but still not much of a hassle. Except maybe for the person sincerity-checking tens of thousands of YouTube apology videos. Well, luckily, only three people made a video. The other 29,997 people presumably played one of the 50 games exactly like it, not lorded over by a tyrant.
The few videos complained about the money they had spent and justified their cheating by saying everyone else was doing it. It’s a weak excuse in the real world, and maybe just as weak inside a fake zombie one. Still, it was the same thing every banned player was saying: “Only a chump plays it straight in a bent world.” They were so unapologetic and pathetic you almost wanted to side with the guy who took their video games away. That changed quickly.
The developers had no sympathy for the cheaters and actually uploaded a video of their own, mocking all the shitty excuses they were given.
The point is, this story has no winners. A poorly made game was exploited by poorly made humans and now everyone hates each other. Not everything has a happy ending.