Blizzard has dropped an update for Overwatch that – besides adding the new Lunar Colony map – also ingeniously circumvents image recognition aimbots, a problem especially prevalent in Korea, apparently, by messing with the image recognition itself. Cheaters hate this one developer trick!
Image recognition aimbots work in Overwatch by targeting the specific shade of red used in an enemy player’s outline in the game. Basically, the update makes it so that this colour is not static by subtly altering its RGB values over the course of the match. The change is not perceptible to the human eye, but those 1s and 0s matter to computer programs.
“The image recognition engine on aimbots would be either completely useless or have high failure rate,” explains Reddit user a16425. “They are already known to function incorrectly on maps like Gibraltar with red backgrounds so this should deal a critical blow to these hacks.”
Although aimbot creators could theoretically rewrite these programs to look for ranges of RGB values instead, this would obviously render them much less accurate, and probably not worth the risk of a permanent ban (but for real).
The studio has shown zero tolerance for Overwatch cheaters or even those unscrupulous people making money out of them. In July last year, Blizzard sued Bossland Hacks, the developer of PC cheat app Watchover Tyrant, for “trafficking in circumvention devices”, “inducement to infringe copyright”, and “unfair competition”, among other things. In April, they won the case, with $8.5 million(!) in damages awarded. Don’t cheat, kids.