This is GM Cheezpuff, Supervisor for the Nexon America Investigations team. I know I don't really make an appearance as much and for some of you, this may be the first time you're even aware of my existence. I wanted to speak to you all regarding an issue that we have been investigating and that I know a lot of you have been discussing. That issue deals with certain game bans that were placed in January of this year. A lot of you have been very vocal about this, and rest assured I've been looking into this issue extensively for the past few weeks. I'd like to share with you some information about it and shed some clarity as to what actually happened during this time period.
To start off, I'd like to explain a little bit of what me and my team do. My team focuses our efforts on investigating high-level issues for each and every one of Nexon’s game services. Part of those duties include looking at behind-the-scenes data and game logs to properly identify and ban suspicious accounts. It's no secret that there's a problem with hacking and botting in our services. Around November of last year, in an effort to combat this problem specifically for the case of the "Blaze Wizard" character class in MapleStory, my team and I took various measures to implement and analyze new data and detection criteria to isolate character behavior that modeled botting and hacking. We found that through these measures and other forms of analyzed data that I simply can't reveal the specifics of for security reasons (sorry!), we were able to identify and ban thousands of hacking, botting, and gold farming accounts.
Unfortunately, what we didn't expect was that a number of innocent players, for various reasons, ended up setting off these triggers and found themselves banned from the game. What ended up being even more unfortunate was the way certain cases were mishandled when they appealed their case through Customer Support. While investigating this issue, I managed to look into certain players' ban appeals personally, and can see where these appeals had been mishandled. For those players, I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies. As a former player who works for the company, I completely understand the frustration that you feel. My biggest fear, both in playing a MMO and in real life, is to be punished for something I didn’t do and have no one believe my side of the story. I feel that many of you affected by this have felt that way. Again, I cannot apologize enough for this.
So what now, you ask. First and foremost, we have used these last few weeks to take another look into the bans that were done in January, and we will be immediately releasing accounts that were mistakenly banned. The players’ ranks will be restored and this ban will not count as part of their ban history. Due to this situation the criteria for these bans was re-evaluated and adjusted. We will also be working with our Customer Support team to review our appeals process and see to it that we are able to increase our transparency when it comes to ban appeals. Our goal is to provide much clearer explanations for bans, and provide knowledge base articles that will help with the ban appeals process. Expect to see these changes in the near future. While we hope that we don’t ever encounter issues like this again, we will come up with a plan to communicate to players faster when such issues potentially arise. Finally, we are going to make sure that each appeal is given its due process.
Again, I would like to sincerely apologize to any innocent players who unfairly got banned. Both my team and I will strive to do our best to continue to combat hacking and botting behind-the-scenes, and we will make sure that these types of false ban issues never happen in the future.