The Cycle: Frontier lead producer Matt Lightfoot has commented on Escape From Tarkov‘s current issues with cheating, and claimed it’s an opportunity for The Cycle to gain new players.
Speaking to NME, Lightfoot acknowledged that The Cycle: Frontier had “painful and horrific” issues with cheating during its launch in 2022.
Since then, Lightfoot shared that developer Yager has invested significantly in anti-cheat features, including a compensation system for players who fall victim to cheaters as well as more sophisticated detection methods.
While Lightfoot shared that The Cycle is now in “a pretty good state” due to rarer cheats, he acknowledged that fellow extraction shooter Escape From Tarkov is currently facing backlash from its community surrounding the prevalence of cheating.
“I’ll be very blunt. I want everybody in video games to succeed, I think there’s a lot of space and there’s a lot of different flavours for people’s personal tastes,” said Lightfoot. “But right now, I’m working on The Cycle, so I’m going to back The Cycle and I want my horse to be ahead of everyone else’s.”
“I was one of the original creators behind DayZ and Tarkov kind of came out of that hardcore survivalism,” the producer continued. “By their challenges to address hacking and, to some extent, [our] element of willingness and proactivity, that gives us a unique moment to be able to really capture some of the hardcore audience and bring them across.
“I think it’s fair to say that The Cycle has a little bit less exposure than Tarkov. Hopefully with some of the challenges they have – and hopefully they’re only temporary – it gives The Cycle more exposure to be able to really shine and show its value.”
Lightfoot shared that his own experience of fighting cheaters in the DayZ mod, which he helped create, has informed the studio’s approach to tackling cheaters in The Cycle.
“We had a rule [in DayZ], which was how can we tackle this problem from multiple fronts? So we came up with really silly ways that just made sense. In DayZ we used to give your gear a score based on its size, so that we knew if you had more than your backpack, you were cheating. Then all we used to do was teleport you out to sea, because that was the only thing we could do with the back-end database.”
Lightfoot joked that some hackers would have a “whole redemption arc” in DayZ after being caught, spending “three or four hours swimming back to the main island, navigating by the stars”.
“It also gave us a good way to be able to [ask] what can we do easily, that’s effective? So when we look at The Cycle, it’s not only long-term solutions that we’ve implemented – like Battleye, our anti-tamper solution and back-end solutions not too dissimilar with what I spoke about with DayZ. It’s about being able to detect sketchy situations and look at statistics, and looking at the human aspect as well.”
In other gaming news, the YouTuber who sparked Escape From Tarkov‘s hacking debate has claimed to have been “attacked” by a cheat provider who destroyed three of his hard drives.