Ensemble bans AoE players

But offers right to appeal.

Age of Empires maker Ensemble Studios has "done a Blizzard" and banned "a batch" of players from playing its real-time strategy game online due to cheating.

In an update to its website on Friday, Ensemble said, "Today we have banned a batch of players from ESO for a variety of cheats, including hacked decks, point trading, as well as for racist chat channels and comments. If you have found that your ESO account has been disabled and would like to appeal your ban, please e-mail age3.abuse@ensemblestudios.com."

The developer also asked players to submit screenshots and recorded games when reporting suspected cheaters via email.

While developers take all sorts of measures to stamp out cheating in games before they're released, it's always been a problem nonetheless, often prompting first-person shooter developers to rely on third-party server security solutions like Punkbuster, while developers in other genres are often forced to divert resources to policing their own games.

Most frequently in the headlines for doing so is Blizzard, whose World of Warcraft, Warcraft and Starcraft RTS games are often the target of unscrupulous oiks. It's not always as simple as having super-duper swords and hacking people's pants off though - Square Enix also acted recently to cut out people who were farming in-game resources to sell on to players for real money via dodgy websites.

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