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Overwatch players got permanent bans last week - for using Linux

Overwatch players using Linux found themselves permanently banned from the game

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Overwatch players using the Linux operating system to play Blizzard’s hero-shooter found themselves banned from the game over the weekend. Those bans have since been overturned, but some players were finding that their choice of OS was landing them with permanent account closure.

Overwatch has been playable on Linux for a while now, but towards the end of last week, something changed. Several players say that they received messages from Blizzard telling them their accounts had been closed, because “recent activity on this account shows the use of an unauthorised chat program, also known as a ‘hack’, which harms the intended player experience.”

In a post on Reddit (via Forbes) one player said that they had been playing Overwatch on Linux for “over a year, without any issues,” before finding themselves slapped with a permanent ban. It’s worth pointing out that Blizzard states on its forum that “playing on Linux or even a Mac while on an emulated Windows environment is not bannable,” but several other players chimed in having had similar experiences over the week.

Fans worked out that the bans were a result of a change to compatibility tool call DXVK, which works with a program called WINE to translate DirectX into Vulkan, a graphics API that’s compatible with Linux.

According to Blizzard support, all punishments meted out as a result of the issue have now been overturned. Sadly, however, they weren’t able to share exactly what went wrong to cause the bans to be issued in the first place. If you’ve encountered the issue, you should now be able to access the game again with no issues, but it’ll be worth getting in touch with Blizzard if your account hasn’t been reinstated.