PUBG Corp has announced that 15 major suspects involved with developing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds hacks have been arrested and fined a total of $5.1 million. It’s part of their efforts to weed out cheating in PUBG, an issue which has reached epidemic proportions in the past six months.

It appears all 15 of the arrests took place in China and were undertaken by local Chinese authorities, issuing a statement saying "15 major suspects including “OMG”, “FL”, “火狐”, “须弥” and “炎黄” were arrested for developing hack programs, hosting marketplaces for hack programs, and brokering transactions. Currently, the suspects have been fined approximately 30mil RNB ($5.1mil USD). Other suspects related to this case are still being investigated.

“Some hack programs that are being distributed through the internet includes a Huigezi Trojan horse*(Chinese backdoor) virus. It was proven that hack developers used this virus to control users’ PC, scan their data, and extract information illegally.”

It’s another small step towards attempting to make PUBG as hack-free as possible, with PUBG Corp keen to let fans know that it’s taking cheating in its battle royale game very seriously. Using, developing, selling, or promoting hacks is against the terms of use, while in some territories it is, in fact, illegal, as we’re finding out here today.

Alongside the moral implications, if you’re after a reason why not to use game hacks obtained from shady sellers, look no further than the discovery of lots of malicious code within the hacks themselves, including Trojan horse software which was being used to steal user data from under cheaters’ noses. These folks are effectively paying to have their data robbed just to win a few more games of PUBG.

“The longstanding rumor that hacking/cheating programs extract information from users’ PCs has been confirmed to be true,” says PUBG Corp. “Using illegal programs not only disrupts others, but can end up with you handing over your personal information.

“We’ll continue to crack down on hacking/cheating programs (and their creators) until our players are free to battle it out in a totally fair environment.”’

As ever we’re going solely on PUBG Corp’s word on this matter, and they’ve obviously got a horse in this particular race, but it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see malicious code bundled in with hacks.

With any luck, initiatives like this should hopefully have an adverse effect on hack development. There’s clearly serious money to be made from these tools, but $5.1m worth of fines is nothing to be sniffed at.

What do you make of this then, does the punishment fit the crime? Will this have a noticeable effect on the reduction of hackers in PUBG, or is this is all smoke and mirrors from PUBG Corp to feign control of the rampant hacking? Let us know your thoughts below!