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Call of Duty: Warzone and Vanguard's Ricochet anti-cheat leak was planned

Activision developers knew that Call of Duty's new anti-cheat system would end up in the hands of cheaters.

Shortly after Activision announced the new Call of Duty anti-cheat, Ricochet, it came out that a build of the new software got leaked, and that cheat creators were already reverse-engineering it.

But Activision is fine with that, because the company expected this to happen. Prior to Ricochet's announcement, the developer actually rolled out a test version to a limited number of users. The goal of these limited releases is to test compatibility and system stability. This is particularly important for a kernel-level anti-cheat, considering its elevated access to operating system functions.

That's according to Vice, which cited two anonymous sources familiar with Activision's plans. In fact, the developer expected the build to leak, and for the more advanced cheat creators to "bypass the first version."

"So as long as they weren't testing with a non-release ready version (for example a non-obfuscated version or a version with debug symbols available) the only impact is that the cheat devs get a small head start. Running a public test is likely to be more valuable to Activision than the extra secrecy," said Paul Chamberlain, who worked on Riot's own kernel-level anti-cheat, Vanguard.

It obviously remains to be seen what effect this is going to have on Warzone cheats. As is often the case, the work to maintain control over cheating is a never-ending tug of war with people whose business is to sell cheats for hundreds of dollars.

Ricochet will debut in Warzone with the Pacific update later this year, and in Vanguard afterwards.

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