New World is the new viral massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Amazon’s videogame branch. It proved to be a very successful first dive into videogame development by the e-commerce giant, so far at least. But the release was not without its fair share of controversies.
First came the launch day queue times, which kept you waiting for upwards of 20 hours. But a bigger issue quickly came up, or rather, an old issue resurfaced. During the games beta, some players reported that their graphics cards fans were reaching Mach speeds, and then suddenly dying. This happened again post games launch with owners of RTX series 30 cards frying their expensive hardware. Some dodgy soldering by the manufacturers was reportedly to blame. But it still affected the game’s reputation, even if it wasn’t Amazon Games fault.
The Auto-Ban New World Extravaganza
But what can be directly linked to developers at Amazon Games is how their handle their games moderation. Or rather, how they do not want to moderate anything, at all. Players have been reporting that the global chat of New World is just vile ever since the game launched. Swear words, racism, sexism, and anything bad that you can imagine is apparently welcome on certain servers. But I will show you how deep this rabbit hole truly goes.
To understand the next part, we need to talk about war. Not like the real thing, but about a game mechanic in New World. Players can create what is known as a company. This is basically a guild you will find in any MMO. But they play a massive role in the game’s PVP experience. In-game, there exist territories that can be claimed by companies. And then a company representing a rival faction can challenge you to war for your piece of the land. This is how war works in very simple terms.
But select players found ways to win wars without ever swinging a sword, and this is very much not an intended mechanic. Because it turns out if a player gets enough reports within a small period of time, he will get auto-banned. With no exception, without warning, and without any human input. Do this to major players on the opposite side on the day of war and you just got rights to some land for free.
Amazon Games denies any claims of auto-moderation
“[…]I am not sure why they believe we are using bots to moderate[…][w]e are using EAC for folks detected to be cheating, maybe they were confused on the differences between that and how in-game Code of Conduct reports are processed,” was the response of a community manager to claims that the game uses automated moderation.
This is beyond interesting I must say so myself. So we have players who are flooding to forums, and Reddit, to report that they have been banned despite not being toxic. Ample evidence from sleuth detectives who infiltrated discord servers of companies who gained the most from this fiasco. Evidence which included screenshots of chat rooms created strictly for mass reporting players. And the global chat full of toxic sludge, where no one is ever banned no matter how racist they get.
And the official response is that the game doesn’t use an automated moderation system? So moderators just like the racism in the global chat then? And they are beyond incompetent to boot? Thank you Amazon Games, this sure does put my heart at ease.
If you are itching for the latest in the gaming industry I recommend my last article. You can read how Pokémon Legends: Arceus is not going to feature an open-world right here.